Luis Adame
Commercial Director
General Cable
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View from the Top

Increased Safety, Reduced Costs

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 17:42

Q: What role does Mexico play within your global business strategy?

A: For General Cable, Mexico is a strategic market because in terms of market size it is the second-biggest in Latin America. We see big opportunities in mining, oil and gas and infrastructure. Within the latter, the main opportunities for us are in railroads, mainly in metro projects. General Cable can work across a range of areas, such as signaling, power and telecommunications. We also see big opportunities in ports and airports.

Q: What projects in Mexico highlight your brand and what opportunities would General Cable like to participate in?

A: NAICM is one of the projects everyone is talking about and the Mexico-Toluca Interurban Train is attracting a great deal of attention. We are also contributing to the new metro system in Guadalajara. The airport is an emblematic project for the country and we feel like it would be a good project to show our brand positioning. In terms of railroad projects, we have a large market share in this area in Europe so we have specialized projects for signaling, controlling and electrification. We increasingly see PPP projects as opportunities because we normally work with private investors from overseas on projects in Europe or Brazil. In many cases, we already have some kind of contact with them and we like the fact that they bring new technologies and new specifications for products. Every country has its own way of working and typically it is difficult to raise the bar. But when international companies enter the arena it is beneficial as this organically raises standards within the industry.

Q: How do your solutions help companies stay within budget?

A: We employ internal vertical integration with very specific products. One of our most important brands is the Stabiloy, which is a special aluminum cable that allow developers to save money. General Cable has both manufacturing plants and distribution centers in Mexico. At our factory in Tlaxcala we produce low, high and medium-voltage telecommunications cable. As a global company, we have factories in the US and Latin America, and we have developed our technology to European and US standards. Almost 100 percent of our manufacturing in Mexico supplies the country but we do import products for niche markets. For key clients like PEMEX, having a local manufacturer is key so we keep a high level of inventory to service the industry well.

Q: How do you define which products you would like to be part of?

A: It depends what we can bring to the project. We have a special product called GenFire, which is a fire-resistant cable that is extremely useful for installation in tunnels or refineries. The technology is developed with some of our compounds and can withstand temperatures up to 900°C for around three hours. Those cables can ensure emergency lights and ventilation systems continue to work in the case of an emergency and the risk of explosion or fire is greatly mitigated. The cables also emit no black smoke and there are no chloric acid emissions, which is not a standard in Mexico, but one that is set internationally. Another of our technologies is E3X, which is used by CFE for overhead lines. This is a cable that transmits equal levels of power but dissipates much less energy. In these specific types of projects, we know we can contribute a product that will increase safety and ultimately reduce costs, so we tend to target projects where we can bring an added value that our competitors may not be able to. We are committed to low costs because we understand the competitiveness of certain industries. We develop compounds and certain metals to allow our clients to keep costs low. For General Cable, safety is key and our products are high quality and offer a long lifespan.