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Mexico Moving Toward R&D Hub Status

By Alejandro Enríquez | Mon, 07/13/2020 - 05:00

Q: How has Bosal advanced in the development of components for hybrid and electric cars?

A: Our global presence includes four state-of-the-art R&D centers located in strategic places, with Belgium being the most advanced. Our R&D department provides a virtual environment for simulation, prototyping, integration and testing services. In these facilities, our experienced technicians and engineers help companies get the best out of their power systems by developing customized, high-performance heat exchangers for energy conversion systems that deliver maximum efficiency and durability. We have fourth-generation heat generation exchangers, which are more advanced and lighter, and provide a better response for hybrid vehicles. Additionally, the group is using existing manufacturing knowledge to find new methods of converting energy.

Q: How close is Bosal to bringing an R&D center to Mexico?

A: The project is ongoing. This center will add to our R&D facilities in Belgium, the US, Brazil and Turkey. We expect the migration of our R&D innovation center will be completed between 2020 and 2021. The talent and the price of developing new products in Mexico are very attractive for Bosal. We will continue to work on solutions related to acoustics, thermal management, flow dynamics, mechanical engineering, emissions management, material engineering, sensors and actuators, testing and more.

Q: What actions is Bosal taking to become a direct supplier for assemblers?

A: Bosal has over 100 years of experience developing emission control systems with state-of the-art technology, which is a high differentiator from our competitors. The company is completing strategic alliances with Asian companies to encourage our participation with assemblers. This allows us to access other markets and for Asian companies to access the Mexican market.

We are in the process of working with our new partners to diversify our offering and open new markets. These are reciprocity partnerships that allow both parties to exchange market expertise and business opportunities. Our first partner is SEJONG, a South Korean company that specializes in the national exhaust system industry, which creates products for passenger and commercial vehicles.

Q: What are the greatest challenges in the automotive market for emission control systems?

A: The primary challenge is to compete with companies from China or other Asian countries, as the government has not worked to include local vendors. Clients use imported products at very low prices. This makes it difficult for the Mexican industry to be competitive. If the government mandates and enforces the use of local material, Mexican businesses can compete based on differentiation and not just price.

Regionalism is another challenge. It is hard to establish relationships with assemblers of Japanese origin, for example, because they tend to have all their suppliers in the same location. It is difficult for Bosal to enter the Asian market and work with Asian assemblers because we do not have a regional subsidiary. That is why our partner SEJONG makes it easy for us to operate in some countries, such as South Korea and China.

Q: How has the relationship with SEJONG benefited collaboration with other Korean companies?

A: In Mexico, we are not yet focused on working with Korean companies. Our strategy focuses on the diversification of other businesses for the automotive sector. In the second stage of our global strategy, we will extend into Mexico’s market and see what possibilities are there. SEJONG is the supplier for Kia Motors in Mexico and this can provide us with a significant business advantage.

Q: How is climate change transforming the demand for advanced emission systems?

A: Bosal works with European certifications such as Euro 5 and Euro 6 emissions standards that are the highest worldwide, even more stringent than the US EPA. Bosal is focusing on generating lower CO2 emissions from each of our exhaust systems, as well as integrating the full range of emission control solutions into its systems, ensuring near zero emissions of harmful substances generated by burning fuel. We also are close to receiving approval for catalytic converters that will broaden our environmental offer for Mexico and comparable countries.

 

Bosal is a global manufacturer of automotive and industrial equipment. It was established in 1923 in the Netherlands. The BOSAL Group employs over 2.500 people in 12 manufacturing plants and 10 distribution centers globally

Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst