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Insight

Labor Challenges in Guanajuato

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 15:46

Kromberg and Schubert, a manufacturer of wire harnesses ranging from small components for headlamps to 20m harnesses for buses, opened a facility in Irapuato, Guanajuato in 2005. After subsequent plant expansions in 2012 and 2014, the company is now evaluating potential locations for a second plant in Mexico to strengthen its presence in the NAFTA market. At the moment, Kromberg & Schubert has more than 30,000 employees in over 30 locations worldwide, 700 of whom are located in Irapuato. In addition to its core business, Kromberg and Schubert also aspires to use Mexico as a prime location to supply Canada and the US with the other applications in its portfolio, ranging from air conditioning, to transmission, engine, chassis and battery cables for light and heavy-duty vehicles.

The company has implemented a long-term vision, providing its employees with a clear overview of the available career opportunities. However, Katja Dittmar, Commercial Director of Kromberg and Schubert, states that it was quite a challenge to overcome a culture of shortterm planning in the region. German OEMs are continuously looking for ways to expand their business with local suppliers. However, there is still room for improvement and a new way of thinking is required to promote competence, quality, commitment, and efficiency. “This is one of the most important aspects on which companies, unions, and governments have to focus over the next years, and only through cooperation will we see a true change,” claims Dittmar. She explains that the company has made efforts to adapt to the local culture and that having a strong human resources department is the key to success, not to mention discipline, responsibility, and reliability. “We wanted to convince our workforce that the automotive industry provides the perfect opportunity to make plans for the future,” says Dittmar. “Kromberg and Schubert is now considering the possibility of creating a special training program to transmit our values and mindset not only to the workforce, but also to their families.”