Canadian firm to build third manufacturing plant in Juárez, Mexico

Canadian manufacturer Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) announced it will expand its capacity in Mexico with the construction of a new plant in Ciudad Juárez. 

The $185 million manufacturing plant will be the company’s third in Juárez and create up to 1,000 new permanent jobs, said José Boisjoli, BRP’s president and chief executive officer.

“Despite the [coronavirus] pandemic, demand for our products has remained strong, and even surpassed last year’s figures for the same period,” Boisjoli said in a release. “Our continued innovation and steady growth in Can-Am side-by-side vehicles (SSVs) make this additional capacity necessary to meet our goal of achieving 30% market share.”

Quebec-based BRP manufactures Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft, Can-Am on- and off-road vehicles, as well as boats and marine propulsion systems. The company posted annual sales of Canadian $6.1 billion (U.S. $4.5 billion) last year.  

Boisjoli said demand for BRP’s SSVs slowed temporarily when the pandemic started around March, but “retail sales went up by over 35% in May, compared to the previous year.” 

Site planning and construction are scheduled to begin within the next few months, and the plant is expected to be ready for operation by fall 2021.

BRP already employs more than 3,000 people at three facilities in Mexico out of its global workforce of 12,600.

The company’s two current production facilities in Ciudad Juárez, known as Juárez 1 and Juárez 2, are on the United States-Mexico border, near El Paso, Texas. BRP also has a production plant in the city of Santiago de Querétaro in central Mexico. 

Last year, BRP also expanded production at the two Ciudad Juárez plants to meet increased demand for powersport vehicles. 

Ciudad Juárez already has around 300 maquilas —  export factories in Mexico run by foreign companies — employing around 340,000 workers. 

Officials in Mexico said BRP’s expansion in Mexico is a direct result of the new United States- Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which went into effect on Wednesday.

“We hope that this is the first concrete result of the USMCA. [BRP’s] announcement was made precisely because the USMCA is in place. This investment will be followed by many others,” Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Márquez Colín said during a press conference Saturday.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.

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