Wollsdorf Leather has invested €40 million in the first strategic phase of its new production facility located in León, province of Guanajuato, Central Mexico. The Austria based tanning Group expects to invest a further €20 million in the next phase. Covering an area of 10,000 sq m, the Mexican plant currently employs 200 people and has a production capacity of 5,000 to 7,000 hides per week. This capacity is expected to be expanded to 15,000 hides in the next phase of investment, once the cutting facility, which is currently housed in a rented place nearby, will be fully integrated into the new factory. Wollsdorf’s new plant processes from wet-white and wet-blue to finished leather, mainly to supply the U.S. automotive segment.
“The U.S. is increasingly developing into a high-growth market for leather. The situation four years ago was quite different as we had not generated any appreciable turnover in this country. However, revenue in 2019 will already amount to US$9 million. By 2022, Wollsdorf Leather should achieve a turnover in the U.S. market in the mid-double-digit millions range, according to projections”, said a spokesperson for the tanning Group. “From an economic perspective, this growth rate can no longer be managed from Europe, which is why we decided to invest in Mexico.”
Wollsdorf Leather’s central research and development department in Austria has been expanded and enhanced in recent years to optimise the leather production processes for the new plant in Mexico. Continuing to focus on quality and selective hide procurement, the Austrian tanner says the focus in Mexico is on more affordable products, especially for the Chinese and U.S. market. The León production site is said to be equipped with the latest machine technologies “which allow Wollsdorf to gain experience for the planned expansion in Austria.”