Wired Strategy for Cross- Industry GrowthBy Alejandro Salas | Wed, 05/20/2020 - 05:00
Q: How important are Mexico’s advanced-manufacturing capabilities for Axon’ Interconex’s operations?
A: Thanks to our IATF and AS9100 quality certifications, automotive remains the most important sector for our Mexico operations, followed by aerospace. These are radically different markets. Automotive is a dynamic, price-sensitive, high-volume market with production programs of five to nine years depending on the platform. Aerospace is a low-volume market with much longer and more technology-intensive production programs but with higher component prices.
Axon’ Interconex is a key supplier of mechatronic connectors and electric motors for window elevators used in FCA cars, for instance. We also supply flat cables for airbags to several Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, including Kostal, Valeo and Continental.
Q: What are Axon’ Interconex’s main growth projections and expansion plans?
A: Axon’ Interconex needs to further position its brand so new customers are aware of its capabilities. We will achieve this by offering more technical seminars at academic institutions that specialize in electronics, as well as working together with AEM to raise awareness of new challenges in interconnection. We are members of several associations in the automotive and aerospace sectors, including INA, the Queretaro Aerocluster and FEMIA, which has resulted in sound business opportunities. We are part of FEMIA’s Supply Chain Program, which helps us to find good opportunities with potential suppliers that we can support with certifications.
Q: What are the main gaps that still exist within the Mexican automotive wiring segment?
A: There are few business lines in which Axon’ Interconex’s Mexico operations can market its products directly to Mexico-based customers. Although we supply mechatronic components, stamped parts, pins and some automation solutions, wiring is a complicated segment for us to work directly. Most of the decisions to purchase one or another automotive cable come from the US. Companies like Continental may engineer a component proposal in Mexico that is later sent to the US or Germany. There, the company will create and test prototypes and then choose the suppliers that will be used to mass produce the component. Axon’ Interconex’s US sales team has the job of finding the right business opportunities that can be fulfilled in Mexico.
Q: What role will Axon’ Interconex play in the development of the car of the future?
A: Axon’ Interconex is already participating in the electrification of the automotive industry. We supply for Continental’s catalytic converters in Germany and develop harnesses for charging EV batteries. Axon’ Interconex uses flat wires to increase the charging efficiency and speed of these systems while also reducing their weight.