KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH has doubled its sales of new injection molding machinery in Brazil to 18 million euros ($25.9 million) this year, according to a senior official.
“We've had our best year in Brazil,” Emilio López Rodríguez said in an interview last month at KraussMaffei's open house in Querétaro.
The 18 million euros' worth of business in the South American country “is more than 50 percent up on 2010,” he said.
López is KraussMaffei's head of injection molding technology sales in Ibero-America.
Brazil, where 650 KraussMaffei injection molding machines are installed, and Mexico are the German company's two largest markets in Latin America, López said.
In Mexico, sales of new KraussMaffei injection molding machinery have totaled roughly $22 million so far in 2011, slightly up over last year's sales, he added.
By next year the company will have installed about 1,000 new machines in Mexico over the past 15 years, including injection presses and extruders, said Héctor Moreno, managing director of KraussMaffei subsidiary KraussMaffei de México S de RL de CV.
“Our main business is still automotive, which is mainly injection molding,” Mo-reno said in a separate interview, adding that, out of 185 KraussMaffei customers in Mexico, about 100 are in automotive.
“In automotive, some of our customers have grown by up to 30 percent in the last two years, mainly because they're exporting a lot.” Major KraussMaffei automotive industry customers include Plastic Tec SA de CV, of Mexico City.
KraussMaffei also serves sectors such as packaging, domestic products, electronics and medical, Moreno said.
Its most recent sales include a press with 1,600 tons of clamping force bought by Plásticos Panamericanos SA de CV of Tultitlán, near Mexico City. The company will use the machine to produce pallets for Fomento Ecónomico Mexicano SAB de CV (Femsa) of Monterrey, a leading soft drink and beer bottler.
Munich-based López said that, while Brazilian customers tend to purchase mainly very large injection molding presses, in Mexico the clamping force demand is more varied, ranging from 50-4,000 tons.
“Argentina is always a surprising market — difficult, but they buy big machines. This year we sold six big machines [with up to 4,000 tons of clamping force] in Argentina and that's not usual,” López said.
He described both Colombia, where KraussMaffei opened a sales office four years ago, and Peru as “good markets” with good growth potential.
When comparing Brazil and Mexico, López described machinery import duties in Brazil as “very high,” whereas in Mexico they are nonexistent.
“The border is the best in the Americas after Chile,” he said, referring to Mexico. “We have had no cases of corruption in Veracruz and Altamíra,” the two Gulf of Mexico ports where imported KraussMaffei machinery arrives from Europe.
“We get our machines out in two days. If you have your documentation in order, there's no problem.”
KraussMaffei has not come across corruption in its dealings with private companies in Mexico either, López said. “We deal with a lot of companies, both national and international, and no money crosses hands.”
Moreno said a concern continues to be the importation of used machines. “Sixty percent of the machines coming into Mexico are secondhand,” he said.
This year the company, which employs a full-time staff of 23, introduced a 240-hour diploma course to increase the knowledge of plastics industry workers and to help combat the importation of used equipment.