Finding Balance between Economic GrowthFri, 01/24/2020 - 09:36
Q: How does WTC San Luis Potosi differentiate its industrial offering from that of its competitors?
A: Our facilities are among the few, if not the only facilities in the country, that guarantee power availability of up to 400MVA. This provides any company with access to the power output it needs for its operations. We also have a company called Ranman Energy that has a new permit issued by CRE to generate electric energy and supply it to the national grid. This will allow us to offer competitive prices in terms of electric energy in the open market.
We believe there should be a balance between economic and social growth and environmental sustainability. We work to comply with the requirements to manage green bonds for energy generation, while making a more efficient use of energy. Some of our projects, such as Faurecia’s headquarters in Puebla, are in the process of becoming LEED certified.
Q: How has growth of the automotive sector impacted WTC San Luis Potosi’s development?
A: Up to 80 percent of our portfolio is in the automotive sector. We have the capacity to develop a project anywhere in the country through the built-to-suit scheme. We assume the responsibility of finding the property, constructing the building according to company requirements and renting it. The current infrastructure in the Bajio region has allowed us to keep growing. BMW’s arrival also meant the arrival of several suppliers. At our parks, this opportunity translated to logistics that focused on the OEM. It also meant the arrival of a Schnellecke Logistics’ Training Center that now acts as our partner at many industrial facilities.
Q: As a developer, what challenges have you identified in the country?
A: I believe that not only in Mexico but at a global level, the consumption slowdown hints at an international recession. But I believe every time this happens we must become more creative to create synergies with other companies in the industry. I believe we need to interact more to become a more competitive bloc.
We have a relevant marketing strategy that is the basis of all we develop. This strategy, beyond promotion, is based on selling high-quality products. We are one of the few industrial parks with an intermodal terminal, which is also the largest in the country. We also have a fluids terminal that receives fuel from Texas. The first wagon charged with fuel that did not belong to PEMEX arrived to our facilities. Some of our major customers in this facility have a wide presence in the US and some are established in Texas.
We also have a free-trade zone available. It is not an obligation for our customers to join this, but we have clients that take advantage of that. A big portion of Amazon’s import operations to Mexico take place at WELLDEX Logistics’ facilities, which is one of our clients authorized in this area. In addition to offering security, this optimizes time when crossing the border because the customs process is done inside the park.
Q: Which elements must an automotive company or supplier consider when investing in Mexico?
A: One of the most relevant factors that attract large companies to San Luis Potosi is the state’s location, because it has access to all seaports and the country’s main borders. Another relevant factor was the available workforce, along with the infrastructure already in San Luis Potosi in terms of natural gas and water supply.
The country still needs to advance in terms of automation. About 20,000 people work at our park and although some processes have been automated. Automation does not mean cutting staff. It only requires adjustments in the production line. We are part of the North American Strategy for Competitiveness (NASCO) and one of the central issues is training standardization for all workers, which is key to the future.
Q: What are the main challenges the industry still needs to face?
A: There are challenges in terms of logistics and supply chain optimization. This is linked to infrastructure and a lack of roads, access points and ports. This is one of the matters we need to improve and give it the attention it deserves. In addition, Mexico needs to build its reputation as an investment destination, which is what the defunct ProMéxico was doing.