José Carrera
Purchasing Director of Calsonic Kansei Mexicana
Calsonic Kansei Mexicana
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View from the Top

Keeping Suppliers Close and OEMs Closer

Sat, 09/01/2018 - 13:08

Q: What are the main priorities and concerns of Japanese suppliers related to the arrival of a new Japanese OEM to Mexico?
A: Our main priority is to increase our market share by growing our customer base and improving our competitiveness. This will help us reduce our costs and increase our purchasing leverage. We are improving all our operations to become more competitive by boosting our manufacturing efficiency and collaborating with our suppliers so we can both become more competitive. We make constant audits and provide them with a clear action plan for the short and long term.
Q: What are the main gaps that the Mexican automotive industry has yet to bridge?
A: Cost-competitiveness, localization and development of Mexican suppliers and availability of raw materials in Mexico are key challenges. Local procurement of some raw materials for automotive manufacturing processes is difficult, which harms Mexico’s competitiveness compared to other countries. Aluminum, steel, resins and some electronic components are hard to find because there are not enough suppliers and the existing ones find it difficult to supply the volumes the industry needs. Scarcity of these commodities forces automotive suppliers such as Calsonic Kansei to import them.
Additionally, it is common that validation and approval of locally-sourced raw materials takes too long. Insufficient infrastructure and lags in Mexico’s technology development are issues that the automotive industry needs to deal with.
Q: What is Calsonic Kansei’s strategy to increase its presence in the Mexican automotive industry?
A: Calsonic Kansei constantly collaborates with OEMs that have a global presence. This strategy has helped us become a global Tier 1 supplier with experience catering to the automotive industry in several markets, along with our knowledge, the technology we use to manufacture our components, the efficiency of our operations and our cost-competitive sourcing strategy. There are not many Tier 1s in Mexico that manufacture the components and systems that Calsonic Kansei supplies.
Q: What growth opportunities has Calsonic Kansei recognized in working with Japanese automakers?
A: Calsonic Kansei grows and expands its local capacities according to the demand of the customers it caters to. We already supply thermal exchange and exhaust systems, electronic components and interior parts to the Japanese OEMs in Aguascalientes and have aligned with these customers’ demand for just-in-time deliveries. The company is on the lookout for new customers as a strategy to increase its business.
Q: What best international practices is Calsonic Kansei sharing with its Mexican suppliers?
A: We have developed several models and practices specifically for our Mexico operations to improve our manufacturing processes, which have earned us the recognition of other suppliers in Aguascalientes.
The know-how and practices that Calsonic Kansei has either developed in Mexico or imported from abroad are shared with Tier 2 and Tier N suppliers so they can increase their efficiency and competitiveness. We show our suppliers how to identify gaps in their operations to improve their performance and product quality. We also help them find ways to build components more efficiently. Similarly, Calsonic Kansei shares its quality standards with local suppliers and works with them to meet the company’s requirements when they face a problem. Having local suppliers has given Calsonic Kansei an edge over competitors both in Mexico and abroad. We expect to work with more local suppliers but prospective Tier 2s need to understand our processes and learn how to manage the quality and cost that the company demands.