Belgian DS Fibres is the next Belgian automotive player to invest in a production plant in Mexico, hoping to tap into the growing automotive production and sales market in Latin America.
“I would be really amazed if our fibres were not found in the textile lining your car,” comments Sales Manager Alain Goossens. “Fibres manufactured by DS Fibres are processed in pretty much every car in Europe. We supply TIR2 companies under contract with BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Renault, Citroën, and so on.”
Belgian fibres in every car
DS Fibres is one of three divisions of De Saedeleir family business from Dendermonde. It produces the fibres used as raw material to manufacture automotive carpets, rear shelves, insulation, door panelling, etc.
More than 85% of the polyester fibres produced by the company comes from recycled PET material.
Technological textile is growing
Automotive accounts for 90% of DS Fibres’ revenue. This amounts to 25 million euros compared to a total of 85 million euros for the entire De Saedeleir group. As cars are getting lighter and more efficient, strong growth is expected in the use of this technological textile in cars.
The Belgian company already had production sites in Belgium and France, employing 150 people in each country. Production is currently being launched in Mexico.
10 million euro investment in Mexico
The DS Fibras de Mexico plant in Aguascalientes covers 10,000 m2 on a 2-hectare site. The Belgian family has invested 10 million euros into the factory, and employs 50 people.
“It’s a heavy investment,” says Goossens, “but our customers were asking. In addition, we think there is huge potential, as large numbers of cars are manufactured in Mexico. The country is ideal for shipping cars to different parts of the world, and the number of vehicles per capita can still grow.”
Lower CO2 emissions
DS Fibres does not consider its Mexican sister company as a factory in a low-wage country. “It would not have been sustainable to keep supplying from Belgium our expanding market in Mexico,” Patrick De Saedeleir, CEO of De Saedeleir told BeAutomotive. “By producing closer to our customers, we also reduce our CO2 emissions, and we also benefit from the arrival of more and more TIR2 companies into the region.”