Shinji Kashiwagura
Director General
Midori Auto Leather Mexico
/
View from the Top

Midori: Successful Experience for Local Suppliers

By Alejandro Enríquez | Mon, 11/09/2020 - 06:00

Q: What strategy has Midori adapted to overcome the pandemic?

A: To overcome this unprecedented catastrophe, every plant in the Midori group has made a great effort. Our priority is our employees and we are striving to preserve all jobs. We shut down our operations for almost two months but, just like our customers, we have successfully resumed working. In fact, we are operating at close to pre-pandemic levels. This is possible because our leather suppliers in Leon have also resumed operations allowing us to bring back our employee base.

Q: What opportunities do you find for local suppliers in the country?

A: The automotive industry in Mexico is really competitive. From the moment we arrived in the country, we started to develop local suppliers for our main raw material: leather. Leon, Guanajuato, is well-known for its leather and we have many suppliers there. Over the years, our local supplier development has proven to be strategic as it has allowed us to increase our national purchases of leather in Mexico from 10 percent to 70 percent. As our suppliers level up, we are looking forward to working alongside them to assure the quality of our customers' demand.

Q: What is Midori’s added value when it comes to automotive leather?

A: As part of a global group whose headquarters are based in Japan, we have the capabilities to engineer new products faster. This allows us to respond quickly to our customers’ new requirements. Another advantage we have is our presence in the 13 countries where most vehicles are sold, such as North America, China, and Japan. All plants remain in close communication, which provides us with the flexibility to meet our customers’ expectations.

Q: How does Midori ensure sustainability when it comes to leather?

A: In the North American region, we are lowering the number of products based on the natural leather and the use of synthetic leather is indeed increasing. This is due to sustainability concerns and also due to the “vegan” movement, including companies that do not use materials that come from animals. Needless to say, as we continue to consume meat, leather continues to be a side product. We promote the sustainable use of leather so our products do not have an additional environmental impact. For instance, cows consume plenty of resources, so we focus on suppliers that apply efficient and sustainable processes. Our plant is equipped to reuse water and waste and be energy-efficient, among other features, to honor our promise to comply with the highest sustainability standards.

Q: What plans do you have for Mexico in the middle and long term?

A: We continue to have many Japanese clients in Mexico. We believe there is a great opportunity to attract some of the qualified talents the country has to offer. Midori has agreements with local universities to attract more Mexican talent. Moreover, most of our engineering development operations take place in Japan, but we hope and want, some of our new products to be developed in Mexico.

 

Midori Auto Leather Mexico is a subsidiary of Midori Group, which manufactures leather products for different automakers. The company established in Mexico in 2005 in San Luis Potosi and has 2,000 employees

Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst

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