|QUERETARO, Mexico - Meritor Automotive, Inc., one of the
world's leading suppliers of components and systems to automotive original equipment
manufacturers (OEMs), today inaugurated its first wholly-owned Mexican Heavy Vehicle
Systems assembly plant. The plant is dedicated to supplying Mexico-based commercial truck
OEM customers with heavy-duty components and systems, initially drive axles and
The new Meritor Heavy Vehicle Systems (HVS) Mexico S. A. de C.V. plant is
the second plant for Meritor in Queretaro and its fourth plant in Mexico. The company is
among the leading suppliers to the Mexican automotive industry, and it currently employs
more than 1,800 people in the country.
Representing an initial capital investment of more than $3 million (USD), the
120,000-sq. ft. plant presently employs 40 people and the number of employees could
increase depending on business volumes, according to plant manager Jose Felipe Pelaez, a
15-year Meritor employee and manufacturing, engineering and operations veteran.
Ignacio Loyola Vera, the Governor of Queretaro, and Armando Rivera Castillejos, the
Sustainable Development Minister of the State, joined Prakash Mulchandani, president of
Meritor's HVS business, and senior vice president of Meritor Automotive, to officially
dedicate the new plant in ceremonies held today.
In his address to the plant's employees, Meritor customers, news media members and
guests, the Governor of Queretaro praised the company's dedication to economic growth and
social development in Queretaro, and for fulfilling its stated commitment to support its
Mexican automotive and truck customers with local production capacity.
Meritor's HVS President Prakash Mulchandani said, "Today, Mexico is among the
world's leading growth markets for heavy trucks and components, and as a premier supplier,
we are pleased to participate in its expansion by increasing our capabilities to better
serve our customers. Our new plant illustrates that our valued business with Mexico's
heavy vehicle OEMs makes it possible for us to invest in Mexican plants and in talented
people, resulting in increased domestic content and domestic employment. We're dedicated
to remaining in Mexico, continuing to work for our customers."
According to Pelaez, the Queretaro plant provides local customers with just-in-time
delivery and enhanced service, while its production flexibility enables the company to
respond quickly to OEM customer requests, resulting from ratio modifications,
line-sequence revisions and other last-minute changes. The new plant has the capability to
expand its production to include other medium- and heavy-duty truck components, including
front steer axles, trailer axles, foundation brakes and complete braking systems, in
addition to other components. If additional products are added in the plant, the plant's
employment level could grow significantly within the next two years.
Also active in the Mexican truck market is Meritor's Aftermarket business which
supplies Mexican truck operators via two master distributors who stock genuine Meritor
products and are presently serving end-user truck operators. These parts also are
available from OE truck dealers. With dedicated local resources to serve the Mexican truck
and trailer builders, in addition to serving the authorized parts outlets and fleet
customers, the company continues to market genuine Meritor products and continues to
provide customers with complete sales and technical support.
In addition to the new Queretaro HVS plant, Meritor has three Light Vehicle Systems'
production facilities in Mexico serving passenger car and light truck makers:
- Meritor Mexicana S.A. de C.V., also in Queretaro, produces window
- regulators and sunroofs, including sunroofs for Volkswagen Golf and Jetta
- models, GM and Nissan.
- Meritor Light Vehicle Systems S.A. de C.V. plant in San Luis Potosi,
- supplies steel wheels to Chrysler, Volkswagen de Mexico and General Motors; and
- Meritor Mexicana S.A. de C.V. Door Systems plant in Puebla, produces
- door modules.
Meritor also continues its joint venture operation with Dirona S.A. in Monterrey, Nuevo
Leon, Mexico, producing axles and foundation brakes for heavy-duty trucks.
(Feb. 15, 2000)