2013

¡HOLA MEXICO!

The engine plant in Querétaro, Mexico, supplements the Gunskirchen site

THE FOCUS IS ON SIMPLE ENGINES AND VOLUME GROWTH

The 2010s are a period of growth for Rotax. Production has stabilized after the economic difficulties of the 2000s – 160,000 engines leave the Gunskirchen plant in 2013. Consumer spending is on the up again in the US market and Rotax discovers large growth markets in Russia and South America. New innovations in engines for the aircraft and karting sector underline Gunskirchen’s capacity for innovation. 2013 sees another important milestone: After a year of construction, Rotax opens an engine plant in Mexico to supplement production capacity in Gunskirchen. From now on, the sister plant in Querétaro will take over the production of simple engines and concentrate on volume growth. The Querétaro site now employs 2,500 workers. Its core competencies are predominantly in engine and transmission assembly. It also manufactures hulls and decks from composite materials for the popular Sea-Doo jet skis.

THE BACKGROUND TO THE CHOICE OF LOCATION

The decisive factor in the decision to expand production capacity outside of Gunskirchen is the difficulty and high cost of developing and producing ATV engines at that time. Consideration is given to moving assembly from North America to Austria, but the idea is rejected due to high manufacturing costs. Mario Gebetshuber, then a member of the project team, sets out the rationale for choosing Mexico as a location: “To start with, the ATV business was not profitable. It was clear that production had to be moved to the best cost country with a free trade agreement. It quickly became clear that Mexico was the perfect location. It has free trade agreements with almost all regions in the world and was therefore particularly interesting to BRP.”

Contrary to the initial fears of Gunskirchen employees, the orders gained by the Mexico plant safeguard jobs in Austria and protect the plant. Loss of overall production capacity in the ATV segment at that time would have resulted in drastic losses. Mario Gebetshuber remembers: “It stirred up a lot of anxiety in Gunskirchen [...]. And it was also quite a long time before we understood that it was actually a step that would safeguard jobs in Gunskirchen. In retrospect it was key to securing the future of Gunskirchen as a location. Without ATVs there wouldn’t be any SSVs. And that would mean more than half the development division and all the non-production divisions wouldn’t exist, because the products wouldn’t exist (and nor would the development contracts). The same goes for production.”

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