Saturday, June 22, 2024

S. Korean auto parts maker to invest US $100M in Guanajuato

South Korean car wheel manufacturer HiHo Wheel will invest US $100 million in a new plant in Apaseo El Grande, Guanajuato, that is expected to create 600 jobs.

HiHo is a global distributor of non-ferrous metals with around 2,500 employees worldwide. It is involved in the mining, smelting and processing of aluminum and supplies wheels to leading car brands, including Nissan, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz and BMW.

Samuel Garcia in South Korea
There has recently been a push to attract South Korean manufacturers to Mexico. Here, Governor of Nuevo León Samuel Garcia meets the Korean Foreign Affairs Minister Park Jin in Seoul. (Samuel García/Twitter)

The new Guanajuato plant was announced during an investment tour of South Korea by Guanajuato governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez.

“Many thanks to HiHo for trusting Guanajuato,” Rodríguez said. “They are in a great place because in our state, we have the most dynamic automotive cluster in Latin America and we are the ideal platform for the entire North American market.”

HiHo’s investment is the latest sign that Guanajuato is capitalizing on the nearshoring trend, in which companies have relocated production processes from Asia to Mexico and the Caribbean to be closer to U.S. markets.

Earlier this month, Rodríguez visited Japan, where he confirmed that Toyota would invest US $328 million to adapt its plant in Apaseo El Grande to produce hybrid vehicles for the North American market. He also met with Honda executives to discuss expansion of their plant in his state’s city of Celaya.

During his tour of South Korea, Guanajuato’s Governor Diego Sinhue confirmed a US $26.3 million investment from medical supplies company AB Medical in order to open a plant in the state. (Twitter)

Auto manufacturers are not the only companies keen on investing in Guanajuato. During his current tour of South Korea, Rodríguez confirmed a US $26.3 million investment from medical supplies company AB Medical in order to open a new plant for blood collection tubes in the state. 

The plant will supply AB Medical’s clients in both North and South America and is expected to generate 250 jobs in Guanajuato.

Orthopedic company Corentec also expressed interest in Guanajuato as a potential site for a new Americas plant, although no investment has been finalized at present.

Of all Mexico’s federative entities, Guanajuato was Mexico’s largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) from Asia in 2022, with US $832.8 million of new projects announced.

Despite the fact that the state is too far south to be optimally positioned to take advantage of nearshoring opportunities, its highly skilled workforce with years of experience in the automotive industry makes it attractive to foreign investors.

With reports from Milenio and Mexico Now

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