(From left) POSCO CEO Chung Joon-yang, Tamaulipas Gov. Egidio Torre Cantu and Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo applaud during the opening ceremony of the steelmaker’s new plant in Altamira, Tamaulipas state, Mexico, Tuesday. (POSCO)
POSCO said Tuesday that it has completed its second automotive steel plant in Mexico, adding that it hopes to take advantage of the country’s burgeoning car industry with the new facility.
POSCO also said the new plant would serve as a so-called “export base” for supplying the neighboring North American markets.
The opening ceremony was held in the city of Altamira, Tamaulipas state, with its CEO Chung Joon-yang, Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo and other representatives from its key clients such as Toyota and Volkswagen in attendance, the local steelmaker said.
POSCO, which has operated its first plant in the Latin American country since 2009, is now capable of producing an annual 900,000 tons of automotive steel plates, becoming the second-largest steelmaker there after Mexico-based Ternium.
The company said that the second plant would focus on the production of zinc-plated strengthened steel plates that are widely used by global carmakers for their lightweight models.
“Many global carmakers and their suppliers are already based in Mexico due to its burgeoning car industry,” said a POSCO spokeswoman. “Due to its export benefits, we will be able to secure more clients not just in Mexico, but also in the U.S.”
Mexico, whose vehicle output reached 2.4 million last year, is fast emerging as an attractive export platform for global carmakers as the country’s trade agreements cover 44 countries.
From the Detroit Three to German and Japanese companies such as Volkswagen and Toyota, more and more companies are selling and manufacturing vehicles there to take advantage of efficient production levels and low labor costs.
The Mexican government is also pushing Korea’s Hyundai Motor to build a manufacturing factory there, according to industry sources.
“The second plant represents our long friendship since the establishment of our first Mexico office in 1981,” said the POSCO CEO. “We will ramp up efforts to provide top-quality automotive steel plates to our clients.”
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)