Racing Pilots Put Mexican Engineering to the TestFri, 09/01/2017 - 11:52
Mexico is globally attractive as a high-quality manufacturing destination for the automotive industry but not as a technology development hub. According to Guillermo Echeverría, Director General of VUHL, this status can only be gained by sustainable results over time.
As the only active Mexican supercar OEM, VUHL had to work with the strictest quality standards to attract both investors and customers to its products. After taking its initial steps in 2008, VUHL is now growing its brand in the international automotive market with dealerships not only in Mexico but in the UK, Kuwait, France and the US. To gain this presence, the brand had to rely on a heavily R&D- oriented strategy and an out-of-the-box proposition that could distinguish the first VUHL 05 from other supercars with years of experience in the market. Mexican at its core, VUHL’s development is now an international effort in terms of production and final assembly. The car’s carbon fiber body — the reason for its lightweight characteristics and high-power performance — is manufactured in Canada, while the final assembly is done in Mexico.
With an investment of MX$65 million (US$3.7 million) the company opened its manufacturing plant at the Technological Innovation Park in Queretaro in 2016. Fully ramped-up, VUHL’s plant has a production capacity of 60 vehicles per year. However, for Echeverría, 25 cars are more than enough to supply global demand. The company is focused on optimizing its production process and one of Echeverría’s goals is to grow VUHL's local supplier network. “This is a midterm goal for our company,” he says. “We have been able to increase our local supply for several specialized processes.”
The challenge VUHL faces to increase its local content is the specialization of its operations. “Our products are highly demanding in terms of performance and aesthetics,” Echeverría says. “We are in constant communication with our suppliers, ensuring each part arrives on time and according to specification.” After having developed the next generation of its debut model, the VUHL 05RR, Echeverría still sees innovation as the driving force behind VUHL’s growth. “Everything can be done better with its next generation,” he says. “Our R&D team is on a continuous search to make every part of the car lighter, stronger and better performing, squeezing in some mutations from time to time.” The car was unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which according to a statement from Iker Echeverría, Technical Director of VUHL, “is a mecca for performance car aficionados and the perfect place to reveal the stunning new 05RR.”
Echeverría and his team have worked to promote the image of Mexican engineering and the VUHL brand throughout the world. One of the company’s latest successes was its participation as a partner in the Race of Champions in Miami in January 2017. The VUHL 05 ROC Edition was specially modified to handle the demanding conditions of the Miami race track and some of the best drivers in the world, such as Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel, had the opportunity to race in one of the white, orange and black 05 ROCs. “We think we are walking on the right path and are happy to see our first customers now buying their second VUHL 05 from us,” says Echeverría.