Leoni strengthening its market position in Mexico and China

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Leoni, a leading European provider of cables and cable systems to the automotive sector and other industries, is strengthening its position in the American and Asian markets by expanding its capacity in Mexico and China. A new plant in Celaya, in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, and a new facility in Panjin, in the Chinese province of Liaoning, enable the company to respond quickly to mounting customer demand, and makes shorter delivery times possible. This capital investment will bolster close collaboration with the company’s customers.

The new plant in Celaya has production space of about 6,300m2, and will commence production of single-core automotive cables in June of this year. The facility is situated in close proximity to a number of the company’s customers, most of which are located in southern Mexico and Central America. With this additional expansion and the existing facility in Cuauhtémoc, the Mexican workforce within the Company’s Business Group Automotive Cables will increase to 800 people. Leoni is planning to spend approximately US$7m on plant and equipment in Mexico by year end.

Leoni’s Cuauhtémoc plant produced 4 million kilometers of cables in 2014. Customers are increasingly interested in locally produced, specialist cables – such as high-temperature cables, coaxial cables, and data cables for driver assist systems. The Celaya facility is Leoni’s fifth expansion investment in five successive years in Mexico.

Since Leoni’s first introduction to the Chinese market in 1993, the company’s Wire & Cable Solutions division has grown to 2,500 employees, and is one of China’s leading providers. The company is setting up a second plant in Panjin for standard automotive cables, with production space of about 8,000m2. The plant will have several extruder lines, multiwire drawing lines, stranding and twisting machines, and will manufacture single-core cables for automotive applications with cross sections ranging from 0.13 to 6mm².

“These locations in China and Mexico boast developed industry, a solid infrastructure, skilled labor as well as excellent transport links – this constitutes a stable foundation for establishing and broadening Leoni’s market position,” says Frank Hiller, management board member in charge of the Wire & Cable Solutions division. The new facility in Panjin will enable Leoni to respond more quickly to customer requirements and to supply at shorter notice. Production is scheduled to commence at the end of 2015.

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine + Powertrain of the Year Awards.

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