Mexican base is ideal location for North American auto sector services
Kamihito Kakegawa, President, Sumitomo Electric Hardmetal de Mexico SA de CV
Sumitomo Electric Hardmetal de Mexico was established in Aguascalientes in December 2007 for the purpose of selling cutting tools and providing technical services in Mexico. This year marks the company’s 10th anniversary, and the company is pleased to note that its sales have increased tenfold in the past decade.
Today, the company’s 50 employees are housed in a new office, following a move last year to one with double the previous office and warehouse space.
World Eye Reports met with company President Kamihito Kakegawa recently to discuss the company’s current operations and plans for the future.
Importance of Mexico
Mexico is five times the size of Japan, with abundant energy resources and a young population that makes the market very promising. In addition, Mexico promotes free trade and is a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and boasts an advantageous location adjacent to the U.S. Since 2014, many Japanese companies have been expanding their business to Mexico, as the country also plays an important role as a base for Latin America.
Main industries and clients
The automotive industry is our biggest sector, and we deal with a wide range of businesses, including tier X suppliers. Additionally, we also deal with industries such as aerospace, oil and gas, energy generation, tool and die, molding and machinery.
Strategies for growth
Until now, we have expanded our sales mainly to major companies in the auto industry. We will continue focusing on this sector more than ever. But we would also like to expand to micro-enterprises within metropolises. To that end, I believe it is essential to improve on our branding and build a good corporate system. Thus, we will expand our business to the aerospace industry. We also started our integrator business several years ago, aiming to improve total solutions for clients. Finally, we are also considering setting up a regrinding and recoating factory for further improvement in our services.
As mentioned in the feature article of this paper, Japan and Mexico have had bilateral relations dating back 130 years — much longer than many others — and enjoy an excellent relationship. In addition, both countries have a national character that emphasizes teamwork. We believe that Mexico will steadily gain importance as a partner of Japan in the future.