Operations Director for Mexico, Centigon Security Group
We import supplies such as Kevlar or iron from Colombia and Finland, though a large part comes from the US. The main challenge that security companies face is unfair competition, as well as a lack of regulation enforcement in the armoring industry. We are part of an intercontinental association of armor companies as well as the national armoring chamber. 2017 was the most violent year ever recorded in Mexico in terms of crimes involving murders and kidnappings. 20 years ago, clients who purchased such a product were wealthy and elite. However, the prices and type of present products has reached other clients. We invest the most in technological investments in terms of steel. We always have partners that innovate and make advancements. Currently, we have two products that have changed the market: Dragon, a level III glass that not only protects against shotgun fire, but also assault rifle; and the T Rex glass with an eight-year warranty, a unique feature in the market. We manufacture armored personnel carriers for the army; the Wolverine, for example, is a vehicle with protection level B6 or UL10. Furthermore, we have also manufactured Centurion, which is used by the Mexico City Police. We do not only have commercial armoring; we also have them for the government and cash-in-transit companies. Few companies encompass these three branches.
Partner, Centur Security
Our quality is our biggest calling card. 2017 was a great year for us; the industry has been growing and we have evolved with new armor and vehicles. We should close 2017 with a 30% increase, which is not a typical figure. It has also been a year with many challenges and lessons that we have learned for the future. Currently there are around 90 registered companies registered as armoring companies and competition has become bigger; however, there are a number of non-regulated companies and this is one of the biggest challenges. All our clients are in the private sector; in the future, we might be interested in working with the government; however, in Mexico that is a complicated subject. Insecurity has always been an issue in Mexico; drug cartels and criminal organizations change every single year, which is why there is a strong need to continue to innovate and offer better options. One trend is the continued reduction of the weight for armored vehicles. Manufacturers are working constantly on new designs and technologies which is important for the armoring sector. We hope 2018 will be a great year, and we will work to make that happen. We seek to improve the quality of our products, processes, and procedures within the company. As for the industry, it will continue to grow and the growth trend will continue. We expect a busy 2018.
CEO, RODOLFO Amozurrutia
Currently, we have a production capacity of 600 vehicles per year; one of our cars can withstand 800 bullets and that is an exemplary quality. In 2014, we decided to participate outside the Mexican market and began to export. We opened an office in Austin, Texas, and started looking at markets around the globe. In 2016, we made our first export to Egypt and in 2017, we exported to the UAE; we had to endorse our quality with European certifications to excel. The level we export to the Emirates is higher than what we offer in Mexico. B7 Level has little demand in Mexico because only high-ranking government officials request them. After exporting commercial vehicles, we decided to produce military vehicles and participated in an exhibition in Abu Dhabi with military units and high-luxury armored units. We currently have projects in Colombia and Peru and have plans to expand across Latin America. Mexico has not solved its problems of insecurity so we expect the market in Mexico to grow over the next three years. We are migrating from purchases to leases, where clients choose the period. At the rental level, we have 63 armored vehicles, the largest fleet of armored cars for rent. The rental business works because VIP clients have high mobility and they demand full-time protection wherever they travel.
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