Two German companies are teaming up in Mexico to develop and mold parts for appliance manufacturers.
Prettl Manufacturing and RavenTech GmbH have set up a 50:50 joint venture in Querétaro, Mexico, to be a development partner with household appliance makers. Prettl brings to the table its injection molding expertise and RavenTech is contributing its experience in the global appliance industry.
“Querétaro is the best place for the appliance industry,” said Prettl spokesman Daniel Stuckert in a phone interview from Prettl's head office in Pfullingen, Germany.
The city in central Mexico is within driving distance of much of Mexico's appliance manufacturing and is the site of an existing Prettl operation focused on the automotive sector. Stuckert said the joint venture, called PR Appliance Technologies SA de CV, will share space with this operation.
“The specialist knowledge that RavenTech GmbH will bring to the joint venture, as a provider of product development services, is an ideal complement to Prettl's global expertise in production using plastic,” noted Carlos Barroso, Prettl's representative in the venture, in a news release. “Together we shall offer the customer a broader spectrum of services with innovative concepts.”
PR Appliance will supply “future-proof” components for so-called white goods such as dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines and dryers. The venture aims to partner with appliance OEMs.
RavenTech's current operation in Mexico is a tooling service business in Monterrey, said RavenTech CEO Christian Daume in a phone interview from his firm's headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany. It has no U.S. facility but serves the U.S. market from Germany with support from the Mexico site. RavenTech's main business is developing systems for appliances, from components to the whole appliance. It develops mechanical and functional systems in its own process and has an acoustic laboratory.
Prettl has had an injection molding factory in Greenville, S.C., since the 1980s, and an office in Detroit, Stuckert said. Prettl has an appliance-oriented subsidiary, Prettl Home Appliance Solutions GmbH based in Pfullingen. Other Prettl business areas are automotive, electronics, energy and consumer product brands services. Prettl Group employs more than 9,500 at more than 35 locations in over 25 countries.
Appliance OEMs have located large chunks of their manufacturing in Mexico since implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994. When tariff walls came down corporations were attracted to low labor costs in the country and its proximity to the huge U.S. market. A skilled workforce has evolved through employment at appliance OEMs and their many suppliers. Major OEMs there include Electrolux, Whirlpool, Mabe, LG, Samsung and Daewoo. Mexico's household appliance production value was $7 billion in 2013 and is projected to grow to $7.7 billion in 2016, according to economics forecaster Statista.
Querétaro's industrial development has grown rapidly since the mid 1990s. The city's metropolitan area has the second highest Gross Domestic Product per capita in Mexico at $20,000, only bested by Monterrey.