The Business Year

Alfredo Nolasco

MEXICO - Industry

Train of Thought

Chief Country Representative, Bombardier in Mexico

Bio

Alfredo Nolasco was appointed Chief Country Representative for Bombardier in Mexico in March 2013. Its role is to represent the interests of the company in aerospace and transportation. With more than 20 years of experience as a public servant and in business, Alfredo has achieved consistent results in areas of economic development, trade, infrastructure, and investment attraction.

"In the rail sector, Bombardier is well positioned to meet the needs of all types of projects."

Mexico has a skilled workforce. To what degree has that been a factor in Bombardier’s success story in Mexico?

Our workforce in Mexico has proven to be extremely effective and efficient, and we have the best welders in the world. They are trained at our welding school in our Bombardier Transportation site in Sahagún City, where we can weld any type of metal, which is extremely important in the heavy transportation industry. The young people training and working at our Bombardier Aerospace site in Querétaro are around 25-26 years old and are highly committed. They are embracing the craftsmanship that making plane parts requires. We are amongst the most competitive anywhere in the world. In both cases, we have been through the process of training human resources. This has attracted other companies, not only in the aerospace industry, but also in the rail transport sector.

In 2014, Bombardier made some readjustments, and has created a new aero structure line and engineering division in Querétaro. What can you tell us about these plans?

We formerly had two large divisions: Bombardier Transportation with headquarters in Berlin, and Bombardier Aerospace with headquarters in Montreal. The latter was split into three businesses, one of them being Bombardier Aerostrucures and Engineering Services, which will take residence at the Querétaro plant. The new division will generate fresh business opportunities and revenues, while continuing to contribute to the success of Bombardier in current production and development programs. This transformation brings competitiveness to our manufacturing strategy, whereby Mexico becomes a key location. We have to be extremely aggressive in order to sell our capabilities inside of our house and to bring new work packages for us and other companies. We are receiving the support of the Mexican government to further develop this.

What role will you play in the plan to renew trains in Mexico City?

In the rail sector, Bombardier is well positioned to meet the needs of all types of projects, as we are the only rail manufacturer in Mexico to operate an advanced facility with both integrated engineering and manufacturing capabilities. Bombardier also builds signalling systems. We have participated in some of the early stages of the infrastructure plan, and are following it closely. The Querétaro-Mexico City high-speed train has been suspended indefinitely and the Transpeninsular, another train earmarked for construction, has been cancelled. This does not leave a wide margin for the federal and national infrastructure plan. With the current financial climate, we have to see what the government decides. On the other hand, Mexico City’s metro has officially announced the renewal of certain lines, such as Line 1. We are already working hard on it in order to present the best product. About 70% of the rolling stock in Mexico City is a Bombardier product. We want to keep our presence in our natural market and are working on an interesting offer in light of the competition.

Since 1992 Bombardier Transportation has invested around $200 million in Mexico. What are some of your recent investments?

Every year, we invest according to the work packages that we can bring to Mexico. Last year, we decided on a capex investment of about $2 million in our Sahagún City facilities. We invest between $2-10 million annually in the renovation of our site, particularly in technology, and especially laser machines and state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. This means that we have the best capabilities in the sector here in Mexico in terms of aluminium, stainless steel, black steel, gluing, and welding.

“In the rail sector, Bombardier is well positioned to meet the needs of all types of projects.”

© The Business Year – April 2015

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