Exclusive Vitro interview

Victor Rodriguez, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at Vitro Glass Containers, spoke exclusively to Glass Worldwide to detail the investment strategy that will make the company’s Toluca plant in Mexico one of the world’s largest hubs for glass packaging and value-added processes. The full version of this article appears in the Sept/Oct 2023 issue that has been mailed globally and is also now available free of charge in the digital archive*.

Exclusive Vitro interview

Mexico’s premier glass producer Vitro and its subsidiaries around the globe manufacture process, distribute and market flat glass, automotive glass and glass containers for clients worldwide. Producing around 1.2 billon bottles a year and offering exclusive designs and a wide range of decoration processes, Vitro Glass Containers operates from a manufacturing plant located in Toluca, Mexico, which specialises in perfumery and cosmetics products as well as bottles for the pharmaceutical sector and premium liquors for domestic and international markets.

On 24 May, at an event attended by the company’s board members as well as government authorities and representatives from various leading companies in the cosmetics, perfumery and premium liquors segments in the Americas, Vitro celebrated the inauguration of a new state-of-the-art 230tpd furnace at its Toluca facility.

The (US) $70 million upgrade was informed by current market trends – glass is the preferred material for prestige fragrances, cosmetics, treatments and premium liquor products, and many brands are also choosing or returning to glass as a form of sustainable packaging.

The main motivation was to provide our customers a high-end glass supply for cosmetics, fragrance and toiletries and premium spirits, increasing our current capacity to support the growing strategies of our customers,” explains Vitro Glass Containers’ experienced Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Victor Rodriguez, who has been with the company for 29 years.

Consolidation and growth

The furnace will start operations during Q4 2023 and we have high expectations in terms of operations and sustainability,” states Mr Rodriguez.

Enabling Vitro to deliver cutting-edge melting, forming and inspection, it will significantly increase the company’s capacity to serve the perfumery and liquors segments, strengthening its position as a provider of glass products and value-added processes from a single operating centre.

We are growing our glass production over 60%, with additional capacity and capabilities in decoration and new products development to provide our customers solutions with a ‘one stop shop’,” confirms Mr Rodriguez. “With the current investment, our Toluca plant is the single largest factory dedicated to production of cosmetic and high end spirits in the world, with the integration of decoration capabilities and value added processes in the same industrial complex."

Our customer base is both local and international,” he adds, “so it will help us to achieve our goals on a global level.

Clients are reportedly already “very excited about the possibilities for future growth.

Perfect partnership

Selecting the right suppliers to partner with for the investment has been crucial to its success. “We have long term partnerships with the suppliers providing the services, quality and performance requested for this project,” notes Mr Rodriguez. “Our main partner is our sister company FAMA” – Vitro’s subsidiary for in-house machinery manufacturing, which offers advanced IS machines, feeders, handling systems and services for the container glass industry.

Drawing on Vitro’s own technical know-how during the planning and implementation of the upgrades was “critical” as the companyhas been doing [its] own furnaces for the different business units we have,” Mr Rodriguez underlines.

Public relations

Will the enhanced production capabilities in Toluca assist further innovation and expansion of the product range?

Absolutely!” enthuses Mr Rodriguez. “We are expanding our stock line offering for spirits, including a line of lightweight bottles.

Discerning cosmetics brands and their environmentally-conscious customers are also set to benefit from “a family of sustainable bottles and jars, named LIGIA,” he reveals.

Vitro is certified as Green Industry by the Mexican authority, also we report [to] Ecovadis and CDP [Carbon Disclosure Project – the not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for corporate environmental impact] so our customers have full visibility of our efforts to reduce carbon emissions,” notes Mr Rodriguez. Accordingly, the furnace has been designed and built with the latest technology to optimise energy consumption and minimise CO2 emissions.

Going forwards, Vitro’s investment strategy for the burgeoning Toluca plant will involve “working very closely with our customers,” stresses Mr Rodriguez. “Together with them we are building the growing path according to their future needs.”

This approach is reflected in the glass manufacturer’s long-term plans across all of its facilities, and maintaining a strong presence in over 45 countries around the world: “Vitro is very committed to serving customers across the different businesses and the investment strategy has been always focused on the market,” concludes Mr Rodriguez.

Further Information: 

Vitro Envases SA de CV, Toluca, Mexico
tel: +52 722 135 4400
web: www.vitroenvases.com

* The full version of this article appears in the bumper Sept/Oct issue that has been mailed globally. The digital version of this issue can also currently be read free of charge in its entirety in the Digital Archive (sponsored by FIC) of over 65 issues of Glass Worldwide at https://www.glassworldwide.co.uk/Digital-Issues. To receive the paper copy, all future issues and a free copy of the Who’s Who / Annual Review 2023-24 yearbook, subscribe now at https://www.glassworldwide.co.uk/subscription-choice