DuPont Co.'s sales in Mexico are rebounding in 2011, thanks to a resurgent auto market.
Mexican sales of nylon 6/6, acetal, polyesters and other resins made by Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont are on track to be up 16 percent this year, with much of the growth coming from automotive uses, according to Luis Gonzalez, performance polymers director for Mexico and the Andean, Central America and Caribbean regions.
“The [auto] companies are doing powertrain work in Mexico,” Gonzalez said at Plastimagen México 2011, held Oct. 4-7 in Mexico City. “They're also doing work in lightweighting, miniaturization and parts consolidation.
“They're looking for lighter weight and better fuel efficiency, and they're establishing design centers here, which is important.”
That focus is especially important for DuPont, which derives 70 percent of its Mexican plastics sales from the auto sector. “We know the market and we know how to do business here,” Gonzalez said.
DuPont — the world's largest nylon resin maker and a leading global chemicals firm — has no resin production in Mexico, but imports about 90 percent of what it sells from plants in the U.S. The firm had operated a compounding plant in Mexico, but closed it three years ago because of excess compounding capacity at its U.S. locations.
DuPont's other Mexican operations include a plant making titanium dioxide — used as a whitener in plastics, paints and many other products — in Altamíra. That plant is undergoing a massive, $500 million expansion that will increase production capacity and create 1,000 new jobs.
In addition to automotive, Gonzalez said that DuPont's Mexican plastics business is seeing growth in telecommunications and electrical applications.