Austrian injection press and auxiliary equipment maker Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH is expanding its Mexico headquarters, adding a technical and training center to keep pace with an expanding business portfolio.
During the next six months, the Vienna-based, family-owned company's 7,535-square-foot facility in the industrial hub of Querétaro, 130 miles northwest of Mexico City, will grow to 11,840 square feet.
Rodrigo Muñoz, manager of Wittmann Battenfeld México SA de CV, said the extension will enable the company to train customers on molding machines, using its control systems, robots and peripheral equipment.
“Wittmann Battenfeld will also be able to offer mold trials for machines with up to 240 [metric tons] of clamping force,” Muñoz said in an April 2 company news release.
“The business in Mexico has flourished,” the company said in the release, echoing the words of Wittmann Group General Manager Michael Wittmann, six months ago. Wittmann is son of Wittmann Group founder Werner Wittmann.
During a visit to Mexico City in October, Michael Wittmann said 2011 was the company's best year in Mexico, where it has operated since 1998. He predicted 2011 sales there of about $10 million at that time.
Wittmann Group, which acquired the Battenfeld injection molding business in 2008, saw great potential in Mexico “and injection molding machines will have the biggest share of the growth,” Wittmann said.
According to the executive, the automotive industry represents 60-65 percent of the group's global business.
Mexico's automotive industry is enjoying an unprecedented boom, with production expected to increase from almost 2.56 million vehicles in 2011 — up 13.1 percent from 2010 — to more than 4 million by 2017, said Lorenza Martínez Trigueros, economy under-minister.
In addition to its Querétaro headquarters, Wittmann Battenfeld México operates sales and service centers in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Chihuahua and Ciudad Juárez.
Wittmann Battenfeld México is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH. The company employs 35 in Mexico.