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Spotlight

Zacua, the New Mexican OEM Bet

Sat, 09/01/2018 - 12:01

Some Mexican companies have already made a name for themselves in the international automotive market but mainly as Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers. In the OEM segment, previous attempts by Mexican companies to penetrate the market have been unsuccessful but a new player has risen to challenge the industry’s status quo with an unusual offering.
Zacua is the first 100-percent Mexican electric vehicle, a small and aesthetically pleasing model designed for the city. The brand originated as a spinoff of parking-lot giant COPEMSA and is managed by Jorge Martínez. “We were initially hesitant to launch our vehicle because we were not sure what reaction we would get from the public,” he says. “However, we were pleased to find that the market was interested in our proposal.” Pride played a role in the vehicle’s development. “We were not happy living in a country without its own OEM, particularly when the country has a strong automotive focus; a quality, efficient and well-structured supply chain and the necessary talent to develop its own technology,” says Martínez.
Zacua already has two two-seater models, the M2 and M3, both designed to adapt to Mexico City’s streets and with sustainable technology that contributes to reducing polluting emissions. The vehicles' designed was encharged to Chatenet to later introduce Zacua's own technology. Both models are practically identical, the only difference being the design and cargo volume of the trunk. The M2 has 240cm2 of space while the M3 offers 480cm2. Zacua’s goal is to widen its product portfolio by introducing a four-seater sedan in 2019, as well as more models in the near future to target different market segments.
Zacua has a manufacturing plant in Puebla, with five assembly stations to produce the M2 and M3 managed by independent company Motores Limpios. The company employs 35 women to assemble one car per day, incorporating an electric powertrain fully designed by the company. After the M2 and M3’s release in 2017, Martínez announced the company would deliver 100 units in its first year of operations, 200 in the second and 300 in the third, according to demand in the domestic market. “We do not want Zacua to be a mass-market brand,” he says. “Our product targets a changing market that in the last years has been willing to pay more and even relinquish some comfort in favor of an innovative and more socially-conscious offering.”