Successfully Riding the CVT TrendThu, 09/01/2016 - 15:01
Continuously variable transmissions (CVT) are gaining ground in the volume automotive market thanks to their fuel efficiency and performance. These systems need specialized components and Nissan’s leading supplier, Jatco, found a partner in EXEDY DYNAX MEXICO. Originally, Jatco sourced its products from EXEDY America Corporation in Tennessee but it came to need someone closer to its operations in the state of Aguascalientes to satisfy demand. The EXEDY Group made the decision to establish a subsidiary in Mexico in December 2010 and it opened a second facility in April 2013.
The company chose Aguascalientes to put down roots as it was close enough to Jatco and EXEDY DYNAX’s main suppliers, which include Tohken Thermo, ASC and Kyoei. Mexico’s thriving domestic market, its free-trade agreements with 46 countries and its highly skilled, price- competitive workforce make it the perfect location for companies managing worldwide exports.
“We have 42 branches in 24 countries with global net sales of US$2.13 billion at the end of 2015. The EXEDY Group operates six branches in the NAFTA market with EXEDY DYNAX MEXICO as the most recent one,” says Akira Ishii, Director General of EXEDY DYNAX MEXICO. “Our workforce totals 17,533 employees, 421 of whom work in our Mexican facilities. We have capital of US$60 million and a manufacturing site of 31,000m2 that we are already considering expanding.”
EXEDY’s main products are its torque converters for CVTs, automatic transmissions (AT) and manual transmission (MT) clutches. As a subsidiary of the EXEDY Group, DYNAX offers friction materials and clutch packs that are essential for all transmission systems. “Through our technology development, we can meet automakers’ demands for better fuel efficiency. Furthermore, EXEDY DYNAX’s products can deal with the vibrations caused by engines with fewer cylinders, boosting the downsizing trend in the market,” explains Ishii. “As CVT solutions continue evolving in the market, our torque converter sales will grow proportionally.”
The company’s R&D operations are located at EXEDY’s Japanese facilities and at EXEDY Globalparts in Detroit, speeding up the response time for all Japanese and North American customers from their initial technology development stages. One of Aguascalientes’ biggest advantages, according to Ishii, is its solid human talent base and its pool of available engineers.
As is true for most Japanese OEMs setting up in Mexico for the first time, EXEDY DYNAX’s production was mainly oriented to its Japanese clients. However, the company started building strong business relationships with occidental OEMs. Given EXEDY America Corporation’s relationship with companies in Tennessee, the company’s efforts in Mexico are already permeating the US industry. “There are many profitable opportunities with North American businesses that have manufacturing locations in Mexico,” says Ishii. “Our company’s philosophy is based on quality and Just-In- Time operations. The Group’s final goal is for EXEDY DYNAX MEXICO to create a Mexican company with EXEDY’s DNA.”
The company still sees an opportunity with European manufacturers but their focus on dual clutch transmissions has presented the biggest obstacle. Mexico’s evolution is an excellent opportunity for the EXEDY Group. Ishii believes that the global automotive market will see significant growth in the near future and the NAFTA region will play a crucial role in this process. “Mexico is also expected to keep growing, mainly fueled by its privileged position next to the US mega market, as well as the Central and South American regions,” he says. “As a result, we see Mexico becoming a fundamental member of EXEDY DYNAX MEXICO’s development. Furthermore, as many OEMs are moving their operations from the US to Mexico, EXEDY DYNAX MEXICO expects to become the group’s biggest branch in North America.”