Friday, November 13, 2009

Chinese company to launch maquiladora in Reynosa

Chinese company to launch maquiladora in Reynosa

REYNOSA — HCP Packaging, a global supplier of custom cases for some of the world’s top cosmetic companies, will launch a new maquiladora early next year, the company said recently.

HCP Packaging USA Inc. — a subsidiary of the China-based parent company — expects to open the 60,000-square-foot facility at the Villa Florida Industrial Park in early 2010, adding 130 jobs to Reynosa.

Officials from the company, which supplies cases for lipstick and eye shadow and other cosmetics for Maybelline and L’Oreal among other companies, could not be reached for comment Thursday. A woman at the company’s New Hampshire office said Steve Levine, president and chief executive officer, was in China.

Ralph Garcia, vice president for business recruitment at the McAllen Economic Development Corp., said HCP is shifting production to save on labor costs and be closer to customers. The close proximity to the U.S. will allow the company to keep inventory levels low and costs down.

“One of the primary reasons (for the move) is that some of the management staff had previous experience here in Reynosa and had liked the area,” Garcia said.

With next year’s expansion, HCP will be among a number of manufacturers that have shifted production to Reynosa in recent months. Amid a global downturn in manufacturing, the city’s maquila industry has proven attractive for companies from the United States and within Mexico because of its proximity to the U.S. market.

Kohler Co. is in the process of closing an Arkansas plant to fold the production of stainless steel sinks into its maquila. Steelcase, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based office furniture manufacturer, is expected to open a new factory in early 2010.

South Korea’s LG Electronics said in July that it was creating 1,200 jobs by shifting production of electronics from a plant across the border from California, to its Reynosa facility.

Late last year, the global economic downturn assailed Reynosa’s maquilas, contributing to a 5.3 percent rise in unemployment. Since then, analysts have said the job loss has slowed, and some expect the border town’s manufacturers to begin recovering by 2010.