We have 20 plants across Mexico from where we serve the world by providing different products from Continental's divisions. Without a doubt, the Mexican market is a huge one. There is a large market for both trucks and passenger car tires in this market; it is among the top 10 in the world. We are focusing only on the tire industry because it has grown every year between 5 and 10% since 2008. For the first time in 2017, the market is down 5 or 6%. For the first half, the market was fine; now, for the first time in more than 10 years the market is down. However, it is clear the fundamentals of the market are excellent. We have a young population and ambitions to own a car are big. The population will purchase a car, despite the limited space within Mexico City. On the truck side, it is a large market with a big gap to be filled. The market will return and growth will resume. We have programs explaining that fitting a quality Continental tire is cheaper than fitting a less expensive, lower quality tire when we consider the lifetime of the product. As the market becomes more aware, I am certain the truck tire industry will progress and reap returns.
General Director, Continental Tire
Operational Director, Embraco North America
The North American market is extremely important for us in terms of global strategy, not only because of its size but also because of the number of customers we have here. Having a facility here is not just for the supply chain; we rely on our staff in both Mexico and the US to improve the partnership and relationship with our customers. This team of professionals for customer service and technical support is dedicated to provide the best products and solutions. Over the past five to six years, we have increased our relevance here significantly. Today, we have 1,300 people in Mexico, in addition to the sales office and warehousing in Atlanta. It has been a major driver for us here in North America, and we continue to focus on finding different ways to deliver value to our customers and improve our operations globally. We focus on two things: innovation and sustainability. On the innovation side, we invest 3-4% of our revenues in R&D. Today, globally we have almost 600 people who are dedicated to research technology and innovation. We have 47 labs around the world for R&D. At last count, we had 1,700 patents granted worldwide, and almost 60% of revenue in the past five years came from products launched within the same period.
General Manager, Hisense Mexico
The first priority for Hisense while expanding into Mexico was first and foremost the domestic market. Our analysis, supported by the World Economic Forum, is that the Mexican domestic market will be one of the largest in the world and among the top 10 in the near future. The second aspect was Mexico as a manufacturing base. Mexico is blessed with many benefits in that sense and has worked hard to establish many other benefits such as raw materials in the country and its proximity to the massive North American market. There is a well-established supply chain of raw materials, and many other components that can be purchased, and those are things that are not easily replicated around the world. China maintains its advantages as a production base even though salaries have increased and a big part of that is also due to its existing supply chain. Mexico has similar benefits as a production base. We are a conservative company. We believe in growth at a reasonable—but steady—rate, and part of that culture goes into how we make investment decisions. Our timeframes are not six, eight, or 10 years; we look at 20-30 years.
General Manager, LEGO
The LEGO Group is extremely pleased to be in Mexico. We started with LEGO Mexico in 1994, and we truly believe in the potential of the country. Mexico plays an important role in the LEGO strategy. We have a major factory here, which is a testament to that. The factory employs 3,500 colleagues that produce high-quality products for the entire Americas market. We touch the lives of millions of children across the region with this factory. In addition, Mexico is also an important market for us. There are many children here that we want to reach with our creative play experiences. We are extremely pleased with our location near Monterrey. We have access to great colleagues with the right skills, which is extremely important. We are also committed to our presence in the region. We are extremely engaged and committed to our employees, who play a key role in delivering our high-quality products. We also focus on our corporate social responsibility. We do this through our commercial branches, LEGO Education, or the LEGO Foundation. Mexico is one of the countries where we have great interaction between the commercial side and the foundation.
Country Manager, Caterpillar Mexico
Caterpillar has a significant footprint in Mexico. We have 21 manufacturing facilities throughout the country, mostly in the northeast, including in Monterrey, Torreón, and Reynosa, and more than 11,500 employees in the country. Moreover, our three dealers Madisa, Tracsa, and Matco serve our clients in the Mexican market. We have a diverse production coming out of our manufacturing facilities here, from gas turbines to trucks, machine components, and after-service parts. Certainly, Caterpillar sees Mexico as a strategic ally in its pursuit of global competitiveness. Our facilities are constantly being reviewed and evaluated for the potential sourcing of components and value-added work. At this point in time, I see organic growth with the products we are already producing. Caterpillar Mexico has gone through an evolution, and things have changed for the better in the technological space. Through the talent and entrepreneurship of our employees, we have advanced from being just low-cost manufacturing facilities to going more and more into product and process design and innovation. Since processing technologies have evolved to increase the competitiveness of our facilities, we have to go with the latest trends.
President for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, Ericsson
Brazil and Mexico are the two largest markets for Ericsson in Latin America. Mexico is an important market for us and is the center for one of our biggest customers in the world, American Mobile Group. Present here are three of the most important and major telecom players worldwide, Telcel, AT&T, and Telefónica. In 2017, Ericsson revised its strategy based on four building blocks. The first is networks; this covers radio, transport, 4G, and the evolution to 5G. This is the biggest area for Ericsson. The second area is digital services, which includes billing, network management systems, and the core of the networks, such as virtual and cloud services. The third is managed services where we invest in tools, automation, and AI. The fourth area is our platform for innovation, which is like an incubator where all our new ideas and businesses start. In Mexico, in particular, we have many networks, including with the three main operators here. Then, we have a number of digital services on the core side and the charging and billing side. We do not have much in terms of managed services in Mexico at present. We do, however, want to move more into managed services with offerings such as self-controlling networks and AI.
Senior VP & General Manager, Philips Lighting Latin America
Ditywide lighting solutions are not regular projects that are bought for a short-term investment returns. Typically in Mexico, and other places in Latin America, mayors have short terms and therefore planning for the long term becomes complicated. We have been fortunate to be able to implement many projects in large cities such as Mexico City because they look more at the long term. There has to be a large incentive for project execution to occur. However, eventually all the cities in the large countries in Latin America will make the leap to LED lights. That is because there are many benefits when it comes to consumption. About 19% of total electricity consumption goes to lighting and cities are growing every year with urban migration. The bigger the city, the greater the lighting demand. The best thing for mayors is to reduce consumption, and the best way to do so is directly through lighting. That is why many countries and cities are switching to LED. We have great traction in Mexico in the offices space and industry and a little less in the governmental space. This is similar to Brazil and Argentina. These three large countries have many more internet users, mobile devices, and access to technology.