On the road to Querétaro, between the mountains of La Márgara and Támbula—where the natives say the rain is born—are 18 industrial buildings that have changed the lives of the residents in the area. There, international companies have invested over US$1 billion, and over 6,250 jobs have been created.
Access to the complex is secure, and the roads are well laid out. Many trees have been planted along the ridges—olives, which grow well in the arid and cool climate of the area, as well as mesquites, and huizaches, among other endemic plants. The industrial park is called Polígono Empresarial de San Miguel de Allende (Entrepreneurial Polygon of San Miguel de Allende), or PESMA. When we toured the complex, the Administrative Director, Lisset Cano, told us, “This is a responsible company, we care about the environment. In fact, the industry that was established here is dry, that is, water is not used for its processes.” The structures come in all sizes and colors. Some operate round the clock with three shifts, others cut out one at the start of the contingency.
When you pass the industrial park on the road to Querétaro and see trailers entering or leaving and white lights illuminating the area, you might think that only aerospace or automotive parts are produced here. But the reality is different, and we know that now because at a certain time of day, in the area around Expofood there is a mild smell of vanilla in the air. “They make animal treats, along with health bars and pretzels,” we were told by one of the people who took us on the tour.
What is the size of the complex? There are 120 hectares of land, with space for up to 20 buildings. “Currently only 60 percent of the park is occupied,” Cano told us. The spaces that will be occupied in the future will depend on the square meters, or hectares that each company requires. All of this has been closely studied by the director, who has been involved in the industrial arena for the last 20 years. She also told us enthusiastically that the second stage of PESMA—120 more hectares—is now ready to start receiving companies.
The first, and the most recent
When the industrial park opened and began operating on May 20, 2015, it marked a historical moment for San Miguel. Stant Inc opened its doors on that date with an initial investment of US$5 million and 300 employees in the operation and production area.
Stant is known in the automotive industry as a leader in the manufacture of steam management systems, fuel delivery, thermal management, and engineering services. In San Miguel, it produces gasoline caps, radiator caps, valves, thermostats, and oil caps, among others. Stant is a supplier to automotive industries such as Ford, Peugeot, Chrysler, Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, Honda, Land Rover, Volvo, and Mazda, to name a few. The company hires workers from San Miguel and from neighboring towns.
In May of this year, the Italian group PROMA installed its second plant in Mexico at PESMA. The other one is in Saltillo. PROMA serves the North American market, especially Volkswagen of Chattanooga, Tennessee, by supplying the structures for the rear seats of electric vehicles. The operation at Polígono has generated 41 jobs with an investment of 130 million pesos. PROMA’s clients range from Fiat and Alfa Romeo to Lamborghini and Ferrari.
The most recent addition to PESMA, and still under construction, is France’s Le Bélier, with an investment of US$100 million in the first stage. Le Bélier expects to generate 500 jobs. The company is dedicated to smelting aluminum for the auto industry. Among the companies it works with are Daimler, Hitachi, Continental, and BMW. Among the parts to be built in San Miguel are engine mounts, braking systems, and chassis components. Official information indicates that this project in San Miguel is the only one in the country that will be equipped with aluminum smelting techniques.
Lisset Cano has been involved in the industry for the last 20 years. She went from working at Carvel Print Serigraph INC.,—which produces OEM and POP worldwide for the OEM brands General Motors and Moulinex; and the POP brands Coca-Cola Company, Sabritas, Gatorade, Philip Morris, Danone, and Ricolino, among others—printing metallic advertisements for soft drinks that we see in stores, to cupboards, and dozens of other products on a macro scale.
After working many years in the industry she was offered the position of administrative director. Cano explains that the industrial park should be seen by San Miguelenses as an opportunity, because the doors have opened in all sectors, enabling residents to remain in San Miguel.
Most companies require their employees and associates be up to date in their fields. Because of this, many support the continuation or conclusion of academic, technical, and professional studies—something that does not always occur in other areas. Hiring priority goes to locals. Obviously, if the workforce, or talent is not available in the city, companies will have to look elsewhere.
Lisset Cano also told us that PESMA has positioned itself as a strategic force for industries because of its proximity to the Guanajuato automotive corridor and to Querétaro. She talked about Swiss, German, American, and Austrian companies and mergers in Mexico and other countries. This subject will be taken up in other issues of Atencion.
Polígono, which also operates other industrial complexes in the state of Querétaro, takes social responsibility seriously. That is why there is a clinic for medical care and emergencies at the entrance to the complex. Four doctors, as well as nurses, serve not only the employees of the different factories but the general public.