José Canales
View from the Top

Preparing to Face Future Trends

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 11:50

Q: Considering the automotive industry’s development, how is MACIMEX positioned to meet its clients’ demands?

A: MACIMEX's current manufacturing footprint is more than capable of satisfying all our customers’ needs from both our locations: our Tenango del Valle plant in the State of Mexico, and our Ramos Arizpe facility in Coahuila. Historically, we have provided goods and services to not only NAFTA- located customers but we have also exported directly to South America, Europe and Asia with highly competitive advantages.

MACIMEX has demonstrated efficiency at providing end products that meet the strictest end-customer specifications, from prototype design to end-of-program lifespan, as well as from low to high annual volume demand either per SKU or set of SKUs, according to product families ranging from 5,000 units up to 300,000 units per year.

Q: Last year, you said that lightweight trends were crucial in your line of business. How are these affecting your processes?

A: The industry is shifting either to lightweight vehicles — those utilizing three and four-cylinder engines — or high-performance cars with either six or eight-cylinder turbocharged engines. To be competitive in these product segments is quite different. One requires highly flexible and quick change-over and turnaround manufacturing processes, while the other demands super high-speed manufacturing operations to deliver three and four-cylinder crankshafts in a competitive way. Our company is working in both arenas, developing state-of-the-art manufacturing lines and ensuring total satisfaction for our customers focused on six and eight-cylinder engines.

Q: What was MACIMEX’s main focus in 2016 and what are your expectations for 2017?

A: During 2016, we focused on the consolidation of our current projects, fostering new partnerships with our existing customer base as well as making new inroads with potential Asian and Korean customers, particularly those with established Mexican or NAFTA engine-manufacturing operations. Additionally, MACIMEX pursued and started preparing for new projects oriented toward non-automotive industries such as recreational and off-highway customers.

Our growth projections are developed based on five- and 10- year strategies, in line with our products’ lifespan. However, our main objectives for 2017 are to guarantee the success of new standard operating procedures we have put in place for 2017 and 2018. We want to optimize our operational capabilities and most importantly, develop a clear connection between our manufacturing operations and the company’s R&D efforts, led by MACIMEX’s I2DEAS (Innovación, Ingeniería y Desarrollo Sustentable) center, in close coordination with our corporate direction “SIQ” (Sistema de Innovación QUIMMCO). Our company goals are to ensure these research and development activities materialize in the form of new or more efficient processes, products or a combination of both to benefit our clients and meet their needs.

Q: With the evolution of electric and hybrid powertrain applications, what does MACIMEX’s future look like?

A: The electric vehicle revolution is a trend that under the traditional scenario could hinder any company dedicated to traditional engine components. However, we do not see this as the case for MACIMEX. If we analyze the annual global demand for engines versus the projected demand for electric vehicles, particularly on a region-by-region basis, we do not forecast a demand greater than 20 percent for electric vehicles by 2035. Thus, instead of shrinking, opportunities most likely will increase for companies such as ours. Our target customer base will be required to explore and divert resources to the development of electric vehicles, providing us an important opportunity to expand with them as they explore new opportunities. At the same time, the niche market for high-performance six and eight-cylinder engines will most likely expand, thus giving us greater opportunities in this field.