Gerardo Bocard
Director General
Argo Industrial Group
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View from the Top

OEMS Bolstering Industrial Park Development in SLP

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 11:42

Q: What have been the highlights for Argo Industrial Group since BMW’s announcement of a new plant in San Luis Potosi?

A: Our future changed on July 4, 2014, when BMW’s directors decided to build a new facility in San Luis Potosi. We had been expecting this news since 2000, when Toyota first announced its desire to build a new plant in Central Mexico. Even though Toyota did not settle in San Luis Potosi, GM did so in 2008 and it has been very successful. Given the high-quality standards expected by BMW, the company will expect its suppliers to be close, resulting in a huge growth for the state over the next few years.

Q: How did BMW’s announcement change the position of San Luis Potosi in the Mexican automotive industry?

A: We will continue to see Japanese companies coming into San Luis Potosi. KIA and Hyundai in Nuevo Leon will help the state of Queretaro due to the number of Korean companies already working there, but they will also benefit San Luis Potosi. There will be two kinds of markets consisting of big companies that directly supply to the OEMs, and small corporations coming to supply Guanajuato, Aguascalientes, Nuevo Leon, and the entire Bajio region. We have to align the educational training centers with the German companies and find out what they expect from Mexico. The Technological University of San Luis Potosi (UTSLP) is going to initiate a new training program this year in order to prepare for BMW’s arrival. They are going to invest in a different teaching method for the Mexican workforce, working alongside the companies to develop human capital in the state.

Q: To what extent is Argo Industrial Group cooperating or competing with other industrial parks in the region?

A: The private industrial parks in San Luis Potosi have been working together for many years, and this year we will embark on our fourth trade mission to promote the state outside of Mexico. When a company decides to settle in a certain location, it will not change its mind. Therefore, we have to team up to promote the state, the city, and the security advantages of the state. We have first class parks with the necessary infrastructure, and a 100-yearold history of managing industrial facilities. We have already been to Taiwan and Korea and we presented the different options available in the state to more than 30 KIA and Hyundai suppliers. The two reasons why a company would choose Millennium over any other industrial park are flexibility and quality. We are open to meeting the needs of our customers, and we are flexible in terms of size, services, and payment. In general, Millennium is a better fit for medium-sized companies.

Q: Last year, Millennium Industrial Park was at 80% of its capacity, but how has it developed in the last 12 months?

A: Two new companies have been welcomed into the park over the last year, and we have assisted in the expansion of two of our existing companies. Daikin recently decided to relocate its national production facility to San Luis Potosi, but had plans to continue growing, leading to the company acquiring 5 hectares of land, representing a 50% increase to their property. The Japanese company Mitsumi started operations in February 2014, and a Swiss company called Metalor started in April. Additionally, a Spanish company called Viscofan came in 2004 and is now tripling its size. In terms of land, we are at 85% capacity. Millennium Industrial Park is growing, and this year we have already started working on the fourth stage of the park. By the end of the year we should have 70 more hectares of available land, completing a total of 170 hectares. At the moment, we are negotiating the sale of 12 hectares, but this is currently being evaluated by all participating companies and their suppliers. By the end of the year there will be enough land available, so companies will be able to have more location options in San Luis Potosi.

Q: To what extent are you already building infrastructure for companies that have not arrived in the country yet?

A: We have already planned to have SPEC buildings with a size of around 5,000m2, which has proven to be the right size for companies. At the moment, we have one building and we are going to construct another. Although these will be starter buildings, companies may choose to expand them at a later date. Energy will already be available, and the minimum time required for occupancy will be five months. By the end of 2015, we expect to have six companies already signed with Millennium or Logistik. The industry is going to radically change in the next year, especially in Central Mexico.