Hitachi explains its strategy for its Mexican automotive divisions.
Can you give a brief overview if Hitachi in Mexico and elaborate on some milestones the company has achieved?
In 2015, Hitachi merged all our different facilities in Mexico. This was a primary integration between Hitachi Automotive Systems of Queretaro, which is mainly dedicated to the manufacturing of caliper brakes and suspension systems, and Hitachi Automotive Systems of Mexico. The merger resulted in all facilities being under one umbrella and the company now being Hitachi Automotive Systems of Mexico. The purpose of the integration was to offer better services to our customers while integrating and optimizing our internal services.
What is the scope of Hitachi’s client base and what was the vision behind establishing facilities in Mexico?
Hitachi’s main clients are OEMs. We are very dedicated to supply Japanese manufacturers and we are also serving American and European manufacturers.
Hitachi in Mexico forms part of our American headquarters, which is based in Farmington, but we have sub-headquarters in Mexico to serve the Latin American region’s needs. The vision behind establishing facilities in Mexico was to take advantage of the free trade agreements, connections and infrastructures available in the country. The decision was also driven by the need to serve the North American markets as well as the entire Latin American region. From our Mexican facilities we are shipping products not only the local market but to many countries.
Hitachi covers three different regions in Mexico. What is the advantage of operating in the Estado de Mexico region compared to other regions such as Queretaro?
Estado de Mexico has a very good infrastructure. The advantage of operating in Estado de Mexico is that there is less competition for labor as there are more human resources available in the area. The State of Mexico has many universities and technical centers that we are linked to and which produce a sufficient amount of talented mechanical and electrical engineers
Our two facilities in Queretaro are more focused on brakes, suspension and ECU (Engine Control Unit). In Lerma the three facilities are mainly focused on the manufacturing of water pumps, oil pumps, balancers, machining pistons, and electronic components. The plan is to continue growing within the region.
With the plan to grow, do you foresee any challenges with regards to human capital?
The challenges will be to employ more talented engineers as well as workers on the mid-management level. On a management level, there is a significant amount of competition for talented employees and employee retention might be difficult.
Do you have a final message for the international automotive community?
Hitachi will still be operating in Mexico for many years and our aim is to continuously expand our presence in the country. Our strategy is to expand our facilities and increase our capacities and supply not only to the Americas, but to all markets in the world. Hitachi believes that the Mexican government and universities are very well aligned with our growth strategy and they are very supportive to the growth of the automotive industry.