Leoni's wire and cable division (WCS) is enlarging its factory in Cuauhtemoc, Mexico, by 7,000sq m with the option for a further 3,000sq m to increase capacity to produce EV charging cables and Hivocar high voltage cables for vehicles.
The supplier said electromobility was "on the up in North America" and all major carmakers had announced plans to further increase their product offering. The market share of electric cars in the US is expected to exceed 15% in 2025.
"Leoni therefore intends to be prepared with greater capacity for the growing and changing market demands."
The supplier said producing in proximity to the customer allows it to locally and flexibly supply products for electromobility made to desired specifications. Contact with principals is made significantly easier and the supply chain is shortened.
Production is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2020; initial samples are will be made as early as the end of December.
Leoni makes cables for both voltages in the US: 300V AC, EVJE cables (mostly for home charging akin to charging modes 1 and 2 in Europe) and 600V/1,000V DC, EVE cables (fast charging, comparable with European charging modes 3 and 4).
The production plan for Mexico initially provides for Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 charging products (cross sections of 35 to 95 mm2) with UL and VDE approvals.
The supplier developed its Hivocar high-voltage cables for wiring the numerous components and the powertrain of electric vehicles, connecting the HV battery, via the inverter onwards to the electric motor as well as to such ancillary components as A/C compressors and electric heating.
Leoni Hivocar cables are available in single and multi-core variants, also as twisted pair models, with various conductor and insulation materials as well as shielded and unshielded – depending on the intended application and customer requirement.
Initially, the Mexico factory will make cables for temperatures ranging to 105°C (T2) and 125°C (T3) as well as later to 150°C (T4) and irradiation crosslinked cables for up to 180°C (T5).
The expansion will add 100 newly created jobs to the present 790.
Leoni is spending US$25m on the expansion.
"We have continually expanded our facility since it was established in 1998," said Everardo Avila, managing director of Leoni WCS Mexico.