PolyOne Corp. is working to get its Mexican customers to move on over to the specialty side of the business.
“We've identified specialty opportunities here, and are teaching customer to get rid of their fear of specialties,” said sales executive Arturo Hoyo, at Plastimagen México 2011, held Oct. 4-7 in Mexico City. “A lot of times they hear ‘specialty' and think it's expensive, but it has benefits as well.”
Avon Lake, Ohio-based PolyOne — North America's largest compounding firm — operates a seven-line, 65-employee plant making its color and additive products in Toluca, Mexico. The firm also imports products based on PVC and thermoplastic elastomers into Mexico from plants in Ohio and Illinois.
“Mexico still has good potential for growth,” Hoyo said. “And plastics is growing faster than the [Mexican] economy.”
Recent growth has come from the manufacturing of new automotive and appliance parts in Mexico, he added. The medical market also is growing there. And although medical is a smaller market, its products have higher profit margins.
PolyOne also has gained business this year in some specialty film applications, as well as in electrical and electronic markets. The firm last expanded in Toluca in 2009 but has no current expansion plans there. Color and additive products made by PolyOne at the 16-year-old Toluca plant are based on polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, ABS and other resins.
PolyOne's sales in Mexico “are ahead of last year,” Hoyo said, but he declined to offer further details.