Bottler Uncaps Automotive OpportunityThu, 09/01/2016 - 14:41
Q: What are MD Manufacturing’s competitive advantages over other plastics suppliers?
A: It is clear that competition is no longer regional or national but global. We recognize the need to direct our company toward a joint venture with another corporation of the same size and vision. We would like to find a partner to complement our operations, which we could support with technology, shared clients and contacts, and ultimately offer greater specialization. In the meantime, we will continue to distinguish ourselves with our flexibility and customer service. It is difficult to differentiate ourselves simply on products as all industry players have access to the same raw materials and molds. High quality is implicit and prices are inelastic. MD Manufacturing has focused on offering flexibility, responding to client needs and the quality of our customer service. By offering effective mold changes or adapting to emergency needs, we can provide our clients with a more complete service.
Q: To what does MD Manufacturing attribute its growth and success in Mexican industry?
A: Our origin in MICLE as a bottle manufacturer was fundamental to our current position assisting automotive companies. We began offering fuel and oil tanks for small gas engines and manual tools that led to our integration in the industry. The launch of our injection processes opened the door to several sectors but MD Manufacturing did not exist independently until 2012. We have since increased our operations to produce 38 different components and are awaiting the arrival of equipment that will allow us to further increase production for Tier 1 companies. While 60 percent of our sales caters to the food industry, the automotive sector now represents 40 percent of our business and this proportion is growing. We supply FCA, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Volkswagen.
Q: Which authorities have been instrumental in integrating MD Manufacturing into Guanajuato’s automotive industry?
A: Local government has supported us from the beginning, namely the Ministry of Sustainable Economic Development for the state of Guanajuato. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has also contributed with Japanese experts who worked for three years in our plants. We were one of nine companies in Guanajuato to receive this assistance and which later formed the Kaizen Group. Through this association we have organized courses and plant visits to Tier 1s such as Hirotec and OEMs like Hino Motors, Mazda and Honda. These visits target best practice improvement and adoption in each of these companies.
Mexico joined forces with the German government in 2014 to train our technicians. Additionally, the Automotive Cluster of Guanajuato (CLAUGTO), the Ministry of Sustainable Economic Development, JICA and APIMEX all helped us achieve the presence we enjoy in the market today. Thanks to these patronages, our company developed its own MD Production system in 2015, defining quick-response quality control as one of its core practices.
Q: How will the company shift its technology now that it manages more automotive activities?
A: Using injection and blow molding we manufacture exterior components such as wing mirrors and under- the-hood parts like air-conditioning ducts and air-filtering systems. Our injection area has machines that range from 100 to 1,000 tons of force and our blow molding machines produce parts of up to 150 liters. We try to add value to our products by molding their shape and offering assembly services.
Q: How have you adapted your in-house operations to newcomers in Mexico?
A: We hope to immerse ourselves in the automotive industry as large OEMs complete plant expansions in the cities of Puebla, Aguascalientes and San Luis Potosi. We are certain MD Manufacturing will produce several components of the processes now being managed in these plants. We believe the number of Tier 1 companies and OEMs installing and expanding operations in the Bajio region will allow us to focus on domestic sales rather than pushing to export our products. There is plenty of industry in the region for the foreseeable future and although our products are reaching foreign clients indirectly, our focus will remain on the companies operating in Mexico for the short term.