Following a recent visit to Mexico by Managing Director Lew Bingham, KnitMesh Technologies are considering expanding their manufacturing base into the country.
The trade mission, organised jointly by United Kingdom Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, included visits to the country’s manufacturing hubs for international car giants such as Mazda, Nissan, Honda and Volkswagen.
Mr Bingham had previously been planning to expand KnitMesh into China, but the Mexico trip has changed his mind. “Mexico has become our preferred next plan. Labour costs are rapidly escalating in China, and it is generally a more complicated place to do business – particularly if you are a small manufacturer,” he said.
Mexico, Latin America’s second largest economy is already the eighth largest vehicle producer in the world, having overtaken Britain in 2010. By creating a manufacturing base in the country, primarily in order to supply its airbag filters, anti-vibration and sound attenuation products direct to the major automotive manufacturers, KnitMesh places itself in a prime position to expand into North, Central and South American markets.
The Mexican government recently unveiled a 6-year plan to invest $200bn in railways, roads, and ports infrastructure, and is offering a range of incentives specifically designed to attract companies such as KnitMesh who wish to expand their international operations.
Mr Bingham plans to begin manufacturing in 2014, employing 20-30 local people, and expects this number to double within a couple of years. “The country seems to have addressed any concerns we might have had about recruitment, with good schools, colleges, and industry-specific apprenticeship schemes,” he said.
“This next stage of our growth strategy will further increase the manufacturing capacity of KnitMesh Technologies in international markets where, in addition to the UK, we already have facilites in India and South Africa.”