Auto parts manufacturer Brembo S.p.A. is building a new aluminum foundry near Monterrey, Mexico, to produce brake calipers for U.S., European, and Asian automakers manufacturing (or planning to manufacture) in Mexico, as well as U.S. OEMs that purchase Brembo products. The project is estimated at $39 million (€32 million euro), according to Brembo.
Mexico has been the site of several new, automotive casting projects in recent months. Federal-Mogul Powetrain started up a new foundry for piston rings in October, and Tisamatic opened its second gray and ductile iron foundry for drivetrain, brake, and chassis castings in July.
Also in July, Brembo announced its plan to build a new iron foundry for disc brakes in Homer, MI, a $100-million project that will create an integrated manufacturing complex by 2017, adjoining the brake machining and assembly operation already there.
The 334,000-sq.ft. plant at Escobedo, Nuevo Leon, will include aluminum melting, casting, and finish machining capability. The foundry will have melting capacity for 14,000 metric tons/year, and the machine shop will be capable of finishing 2 million units annually.
No details of the plant design or equipment has been made known. The new plant will start operation in 2016, reaching full capacity by late 2018.
With a projected turnover of $120 million/year, the new operation is projected to create up to 500 jobs when fully operational.
Automotive brakes are Brembo’s specialty, and its brake calipers are supplied as original equipment for models in every category. It designs and produces monoblock or two-piece fixed calipers in aluminum for maximum weight savings and performance, with the number of pistons varying from 2 to 6, relative to the brake size.
NAFTA has emerged as the company’s largest consumer market in the past two years, a point it made when it announced the Michigan project last July. Over the first nine months of 2014, its sales in the region have increased almost 25% compared to Q1-Q3 2013.
"With the opening of the new plant in Mexico, Brembo confirms its strong determination to continue growth in North America," according to chairman Alberto Bombassei, in a statement. "The demand for aluminum calipers, expanding quickly outside of Europe, opens up opportunities for further development in North America for Brembo, which has always been a leader in this technology. We can take advantage of this opportunity only if we invest in production capacity close to our customers in the local market."