Fernando Leite
Co-Founder of Controlar
Guli Lima
Guli Lima
Director of Controlar North America
View from the Top

Testing is Greenfield Area for Global Supplier

Sat, 09/01/2018 - 11:36

Q: How are Controlar services divided in relation to Mexico’s automotive industry?
FL: Globally, the industry represents 90 percent of our activities, given the strength of this sector in the countries where we are present: Mexico, Spain, Portugal and Malaysia. In Mexico we service solely the automotive industry.
GL: We work with Visteon as their global suppliers for print circuit board (PCB) testing and we also collaborate locally with Aptive. We also have a strong collaboration with Bosch globally. Our focus is mostly on infotainment systems including radios, GPS solutions, dashboards and instrument clusters. At the moment, our operations are 40 percent focused on developing testing solutions and 60 percent on automation equipment and services. Half of the testing solutions we have marketed in Mexico were designed and brought directly from Portugal. The rest have been specifically designed for our local clients and have been developed along our automation integration services.
Q: Being a recent investor, what opportunities do you see for Controlar to develop in the Mexican market?
FL: Data has become a key element in vehicles. Cars now include more electronic components and they need to manage more information to be connected with other vehicles and with satellite communication. Controlar’s value proposition is to build testing systems that can verify and validate all components related to data management are built properly.
GL: Mexico still has enormous untapped potential in the testing market with companies that do not have testing operations in Mexico. However, there is also massive opportunity to collaborate with global Tier 1 companies like Bosch or Magneti Marelli that still source most of their testing equipment from abroad. Our relationship with companies like Bosch has been possible thanks to our global presence and the fact that these companies understand the standards we work with. However, most other global companies in Mexico still have made no decision on which testing equipment they can source locally.
Q: What factors could help the company increase its market share?
FL: Controlar’s penetration in the market will grow in Mexico inasmuch as R&D operations evolve in the country. We see the arrival of more R&D centers attached to leading Tier 1 suppliers as a positive for our company and for the industry. The country must evolve toward a technological-development future because its position as a low-cost manufacturing destination will not last forever.
GL: Companies investing in R&D operations need assurance that they will be able to complete their design and manufacturing processes locally. Otherwise, they have to send those components abroad for validation at OEMs' headquarters, which only delays the process. That is the main advantage that a company such as Controlar can offer.
Q: How have you ensured both large Tier 1 companies and smaller suppliers can access Controlar’s solutions?
GL: We are a system integrator and our goal is to build automation systems that meet the clients’ needs at the fairest cost possible. The cost of the solution depends on the type of equipment the client needs and it is true that robotic equipment can be expensive. Having said that, robotic solutions have become much more accessible in recent years.
Q: What are your growth expectations in Mexico for the near future?
GL: Our first year in Mexico focused on building our operational infrastructure and training our people to work according to Controlar’s global standards. Our goal now is to evolve our operations in Mexico to the point where they represent between 5 and 10 percent of our global revenue. We do not have plans to expand our facilities yet but we do need commercial, technical and engineering teams in different regions. Chihuahua, Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Monterrey and San Luis Potosi will be our priorities to establish a commercial link by the end of 2018 or early 2019.