Published on September 04, 2013
In 2008, the Dräxlmaier Group decided to expand its global operations into Nicaragua. Today, Draexlmaier Partes Automotrices Nicaragua is growing in efficiency and capacity.
Draexlmaier Partes Automotrices Nicaragua, one of the biggest automobile part manufacturers in the country, started its history back in 2008, when its corporate headquarters decided to expand its growing presence in the Americas. This Germany-based, family-owned automotive component supplier was founded in 1958, and is now considered one of the largest in the world with more than 55 sites in over 20 countries on four continents. Customers include BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Jaguar and Bugatti. Dräxlmaier’s expertise lies in developing and manufacturing wiring harness systems, interiors and central electrical and electronic components, with a clear focus on the premium automotive segment.
Dräxlmaier’s main objective to look for a new production site in the Americas was attributed mainly to the efficient performance of its other sites in the region. The company’s need for expansion and greater flexibility eventually led to a contact with PRONicaragua, Nicaragua’s official investment and export promotion agency, which played a crucial role in gathering information and support to start operations in the country.
The first goal for Dräxlmaier was to demonstrate to their customers that Nicaragua was the right step in moving forward. According to David Vázquez, who manages the Dräxlmaier plant in Nicaragua together with Tom Dompert, it took about two years before the plant was fully operational -- a preparation phase that was a learning process for everybody involved.
During this preparation phase, Vazquez and Dompert led the training program for the initial Nicaragua team. A few machines were acquired, and production started on a small scale to confirm what could be achieved in Nicaragua on a larger scale. The initial results were positive and a green light was given to expand operations at the Nicaraguan site. Goals included maintaining the plant’s production operations around the clock on a seven-day schedule; eventually, this goal was reached, but it was not easy since a three-shift production model as applied by the Dräxlmaier Group is not common in the country.
Aside from difficulties that presented themselves at the initial stage of operation, positive results became evident very quickly. Today, Dräxlmaier has created 900 permanent jobs at its Nicaraguan plant site, which is located in the city of Nindiri, just south of the capital city of Managua, and the number of automotive parts and components exported from Nicaragua has steadily increased during the year 2012.
Dräxlmaier Group utilizes modern and efficient project and process management to meet the highest production and quality standards. As part of this, specialists develop uniform standards within a global management system, with the goal of designing and manufacturing products with the same excellent Dräxlmaier quality at every location and for every vehicle worldwide.
Today, Draexlmaier Partes Automotrices Nicaragua is a competitive and efficient plant thanks to “the progressive growth, our committed team, and the exhaustive training given to our associates,” as Mr. Vázquez emphasized.
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