Raúl Gamboa has taken over as head of production control, production system and logistics at BMW Group’s plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. He reports to Harald Gottsche, president and CEO of the plant.
Gamboa is the first Mexican to take up the role. Since the plant opened in 2019 production and control and logistics has been led by German nationals. He replaces Siegfried Jung, who had been in the role since August 2022. Gamboa moves to the new role from his position as director of materials and transport control at the plant. He was also responsible for the supply of components to BMW’s US plant in Spartanburg, its other main production location in North America. Prior to that role he was manager of supply chain assurance in Mexico, overseeing supply of parts to the Americas, Europe, China and South Africa.
Gamboa began his career BMW with responsibility for supplier development in the Americas, with the remit of increasing local content in Canada, the US, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. He was later in charge of supplier development in Spain, Portugal and North Africa. BMW said that Gamboa was also part of the team that led the logistics evaluation and final decision on the location of the San Luis Potosi plant.
At last month’s Automotive Logistics and Supply Chain Mexico conference, Gamboa talked about the need to be more flexible in logistics and said that some of the most important measures the OEM has taken in Mexico to combat capacity woes and bottlenecks involved being more creative.
BMW reiterated that logistics has undergone significant transformation in recent years, with a greater strategic importance in the face of supply chain challenges, and that has focused attention on how to gain greater flexibility in line with market and production demands. To support that BMW has invested in digital technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and data analytics. The company said the transformation in logistics had achieved flexibility at the San Luis Potosi plant.
One of the key innovations at the plant is a single control centre that gives an overview of all the technology in operation. Its digital control room provides an overview of what is being packed into containers at suppliers or in Germany at the packaging plant and where the containers are located. That in turn enables BMW to make significant savings in shipping. Siegfried Jung explained more about the digital control room at the ALSC Mexico conference in 2022.
The plant also makes use of radio frequency identification (RFID) to ensure that cars are always fitted with the right parts to avoid the risk of mixing up of specifications.
The plant also features automated storage and buffer systems for more efficient, demand-based production.
BMW plans to make Neue Klasse electric vehicles at the San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico from 2027 and is building an 85,000 sq.m battery assembly facility to support that production.