Raúl Suárez
Vice President and General Manager
MANN+HUMMEL Mexico
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View from the Top

High Quality Standards for Technology

Tue, 09/15/2015 - 16:00

Q: Which products from MANN+HUMMEL’s broad portfolio are the most popular in Mexico?

A: The most popular products in the country are filters and intake filtration systems. We offer these products to OEMs, and to the aftermarket industry. There are some products that we have not distributed before, but we have grown and have new technological capabilities. The Mexican market is price-oriented and the benefits of good filtration systems have not always been common knowledge. Car owners are not always aware that unfiltered particles can reduce the lifespan of an engine, so the challenge is communicating with them. We offer high-quality products that meet OEM requirements, which means they have better operation and last longer. The company allocates some resources to develop good relationships with shops and distributors to show them benefits of good filtration systems, as well as utilizing specialized people to explain customers the advantages of our products. Even though they might be more expensive, we will still focus on products with a higher quality. There is a segment of the market that wants good quality, and we are going to continue to work with them.

Q: MANN+HUMMEL mainly focuses on service and production in Mexico. Are there any plans to develop R&D operations?

A: Given that there are some products that are specifically targeting the NAFTA region, as well as the opportunity in the aftermarket, we already have some research capabilities for filtration in Mexico. However, as more manufacturers establish plants in the country, they are starting to develop their own R&D centers, so we will need to adapt to these new situations. Early in 2015, we presented our first intake manifold system manufactured in Mexico. It is a very complex product that helps in fuel economy and emissions. Previously, this part was manufactured in casted aluminum, but now we are developing it with plastic, reducing the weight and the cost of the vehicle.

Q: What are the major challenges in Mexico regarding differences in climate around the country?

A: We have an R&D department that tests our products against dust and different weather conditions. It is not the same to design products for desert or snow covered areas. However, car manufacturers design their vehicles to be resistant to any conditions so we must comply with their specifications. We have certain products that are targeted toward particular conditions, but we just add other components to our base product to achieve that.

Q: Aside from demand for low prices and high quality, what other trends have you noticed in the Mexican market?

A: Normally, car owners see it as an investment and do not want cheap parts that might damage their car. Another important factor is the internet; there is a lot of information available and customers can compare every product and its quality. On our website, we explain to our customers the advantages of our products, and the different solutions that we can offer. We also have an online catalog of products where we display all the applications for that item. This is currently an important trend in the market, evidenced by our clients pointing out the importance of having online access to information. There is always going to be demand for cheap products, but that also extends to quality products. Car owners do not want to spend every other day in the workshop, and, for that reason, they are willing to make an investment in high-quality items. We always try to show our customers why they need good filtration and how our technology works to help customers make an informed decision.

Q: What new products, services, or strategies are you planning to reveal in the near future?

A: We are planning to launch new intake manifolds and we are seeing an increasing demand for turbochargers, which means that we will offer more specialized ducts for these applications. We already know what kind of engines will come with the new manufacturers, so we are ready to provide solutions for fixed and variable flow manifolds. In the area of turbocharger ducts, there is no one else in the region who can offer the same quality as we do, which means that all we need is the proper investment to be prepared. At MANN+HUMMEL, we want to continue with our current quality. We want to continue offering original equipment with high-quality standards, and we want to convince customers of the benefits of this technology.