New Entrants Pose Biggest OpportunityThu, 09/01/2016 - 09:44
Q: How has SA Automotive generated and strengthened business opportunities among OEMs and suppliers?
A: SA Automotive’s strongest segment is the light vehicle market, in which we work with General Motors, Ford, FCA, Daimler, Tesla, Nissan and BMW. We have a relationship with Volkswagen as a Tier 2 supplier. Our production is diversified through car interiors for compact cars and trucks, including roofs, armrests, trunk compartments, door panels and protection components for the engine. We frequently receive requests for quotes on different brands and models, including our recent tender for the Toyota Camry that will be manufactured in Guanajuato. As we begin to target Honda and Mazda, we plan to open a new facility in Celaya, Guanajuato to be closer to them. SA Automotive also hopes to develop a stronger relationship with Volkswagen. As model renovation occurs every five years, our biggest opportunity lies with new market entrants.
SA Automotive has been present in Mexico since 2010 but the company’s owners have accumulated more than 30 years of experience in the automotive market. We have a planned expansion for our operations in the city of Puebla to continue catering to the local automotive industry. The plant covers 4,000m2 and has 3,000m2 of storage for raw materials and a product specifically for Daimler. In June 2016, we added an extra 2,000m2 for new projects.
Q: What advantages does the company have over its strongest competitors?
A: Our vision is to have no competitors but allies that help us deliver the best products to the customer. We work closely with Faurecia, Johnson Controls, Lear and Antolin as a Tier 2 supplier, so it would be difficult to consider them competition for our Tier 1 market. Especially in the automotive market, companies may occupy both roles of supplier and client so we must concentrate on being equally attractive to our suppliers and our customers.
SA Automotive offers advantages that make our clients more comfortable during the purchasing process. Our size presents an opportunity for our customers to maintain a closer and more personal relationship with us. We are transparent and honest about our products and quality and we always deliver orders on time. The company is open regarding processes and operations and the team always aspires to offer excellent customer service.
We certainly have areas of opportunity to address, one of which is our teams. Machines can always be replaced but people have to be developed, trained and taken care of professionally. We believe in giving younger people a chance to participate and grow in the company by integrating their ideas with our operations. Both technology and human capital are essential in a company but integrating new equipment entails staff being willingness to learn how to operate it. Training and education are crucial for our development along with incentives when deserved.
Q: What are your expectations for SA Automotive’s new plant in Celaya?
A: About 400 people will work at this new site for SA Automotive but we intend to develop the plan carefully. We must team up with the most appropriate partners so our operations run efficiently, which involves the government, suppliers and even the people in charge of the construction project. Once our team is set up, we want to consolidate the SA Automotive brand in the national market. We have already prepared information brochures and are designing a new webpage and training the sales force that will promote our brand in the local market.
Q: What are SA Automotive’s key targets in the Mexican market?
A: We want to have a strong presence in the entire Bajio region. Having planned this project for over 18 months, it is now becoming a reality. There are many other opportunities to seize, especially in the automotive sector. Mexico has seen enormous investments and new companies appear every day. We want to become a key player in the auto parts sector without focusing solely on automated equipment or the latest technology. Our true objective is to improve the quality of life for the local population by creating job opportunities for everyone who wants to grow personally and professionally.