PUEBLA, MEXICO — Tier 1 auto industry supplier Mecaplast Group says it will build its second injection molding facility in Mexico in the city of Silao, central Mexico.
The new facility, 290 miles northwest of the Puebla plant it has owned since 2002, is expected to be operational within two years. “The business already booked will focus more on engine parts than the Puebla plant's current business [body parts],” Philippe Vayssettes, director of Monaco-based Mecaplast's America business unit, said in a Dec. 4 email. “Mecaplast will export part of this production to the U.S. and Canada.”
The new plant will occupy 54,000 square feet in its first phase and 97,000 square feet in a second phase.
“We plan to finish building the plant by mid-2016 and to start production in 2017,” Vayssettes wrote.
The company purchased 5 acres in Silao's Santa Fe industrial park in July.
“It's the Mexican automotive industry's new strategic area, with GM, VW Powertrain, Honda and Mazda already installed there, Nissan relatively close, 105 miles away in Aguascalientes, and BMW coming soon to San Luis Potosí,” Vayssettes wrote.
General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG, Chrysler Group and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd are already among Mecaplast's customers in Mexico and Audi AG has named Mecaplast as a supplier for the Q5 SUV to be assembled in San José Chiapa, in the state of Puebla, starting in 2016, Mecaplast CEO Pierre Boulet said earlier this year.
The Santa Fe industrial park includes an interior port, complete with customs facilities and a railway station. It is close to León´s international airport and has a fire station, a hospital and an engineering college, according to Vayssettes.
Mecaplast unveiled a $1.5 million upgrade of its 70,000-square-foot Puebla factory, which employs 350, 240 of them technicians, last spring. The facility manufactures body, interior and engine parts on 23 injection molding presses, including 14 KraussMaffeis, seven Huskys and two Netstals. The clamping forces range from 150 to 1,600 tons.