Hard work, high standards of quality and love of country are evident in every aspect of Asfaltos de Guadalajara’s operations. Through its commitment to building, maintaining and expanding the basic infrastructure of Mexico, Asfaltos Guadalajara has become a leader in the lucrative construction sector of the country. Bob Cavallo reports.
Family-owned Asfaltos Guadalajara began 70 years ago in the mountainous state of Jalisco. It first was known as Agregados S.A. and mined a local aggregate quarry of high grade stone which made an excellent quality of asphalt. The early years were not easy but the company weathered the political and economic storms of the times and steadily grew, prospered and diversified to become Grupo Garcia Ascencio. This group formation had several different divisions such as highway construction, asphalt based construction materials and heavy equipment leasing.
Since 2003, all of Grupo Garcia Ascensio has been united for administrative purposes under the banner of Asfaltos Guadalajara S.A. del C.V. Today the company is managed by three dynamic brothers Jose Luis, Jorge and Roberto Garcia Ascencio with impressive results. In 2007 the company’s annual turnover topped U.S. $36 million. From 2003 to 2007 Asfaltos Guadalajara’s annual growth was a tremendous 90 percent with a significant increase of 40 percent projected for 2008. These excellent results have allowed the company to solidify its financial base and increase total profitability.
To speak of Asfaltos Guadalajara is to speak of commitment. Both the company’s mission and vision are dedicated to creating progress for the common good. Afflatus Guadalajara is committed to the development of the country through its work in creating a stronger basic infrastructure. Second, the company is committed to society in general through the professional and human development of its employees and collaborators. Next, it is committed to preserving the environment through non-contaminating production and the safe elimination of residues. Finally, it is committed to good business practices by honoring its agreements and by establishing firm business relations with its suppliers and clients. In addition, General Director Jorge Garcia Ascensio is actively involved in many related associations such as the Asphalt Institute of Mexico and the Mexican Chamber of the Construction Industry.
“The construction industry is the motor of the Mexican economy in terms of driving economic growth and creating employment,” Garcia Ascensio says. This year, 2008, will be a historic year for the industry with a budget of over $3.7 billion destined for improvements in infrastructure throughout Mexico. Garcia pointed out that in terms of economic growth and increased employment, the construction sector drives 37 of the 64 sectors within the country. The injection of public money into the economy creates a circle of wealth that trickles to the other sectors. Moreover Garcia also pointed out that for the first time and through the efforts of the industry, the federal government’s budget was released January rather than April or May as was done in the past, allowing companies more time to bid for jobs and, more importantly, more time to complete work before the rainy season begins.
The life of a highway depends on factors such as traffic, climate and construction quality. Over time prolonged exposure to moisture can break apart the asphalt surfacing, erode the foundation and cause pot-holes, rutting and cracking. These hazardous conditions can lead to serious traffic accidents and cause costly damage to vehicles.
Time also changes transportation needs and highways must be expanded to accommodate a rising volume of traffic demands and heavier weight loads. By treating pavements before there is major damage millions of dollars are saved and many accidents prevented. By building modern highway connections between cities the economy is stimulated.
Asfaltos Guadalajara has been involved in many important highway projects over the 25 years of its existence. The company has completed projects for the federal government, state and municipal governments as well as for the private sector. Asfaltos Guadalajara has lain miles and miles of roadways, highways and thoroughfares joining many exotically named Mexican cities such as Zapotlanejo, Chihuatlan or Maravatio to major Mexican cities. These arteries must constantly be maintained and expanded.
High transit surfaces like airport runways need special treatments to ensure that they are skid resistant, level and long enough for safe landings and takeoffs. Asfaltos Guadalajara, using its technical expertise and logistic capacity, has resurfaced and refurbished the ramps, taxiways, and runways for many of the major airports throughout the country including airports at the internationally famous tourist destinations of Cancun, Puerta Vallarta, and Cozumel. Working under tremendously logistic difficulties, these projects were completed during late hours of the night without disrupting scheduled flights or airport services.
Asfaltos Guadalajara’s non public sector jobs include the paving and road surfacing for the first privatized toll roads in Mexico. Within the private sector the company has done extensive road work for major shopping centers, manufacturing facilities, and industrial parks where it has built access roads, streets, and parking lots for private companies like Hewlett Packard or Sam’s.
Working in the recent boom in the Mexican housing industry Asfaltos Guadalajara has also lain the drainage and curbing in many of these urbanization projects.
Grupo Garcia Asencio is located in Col. Chapitas, Guadalajara in the south west of Mexico. The firm employs 950. According to the company’s annual production report in 2007 Asfaltos Guadalajara produced 279,080 cubed meters of natural and modified asphalt mixes and 1,686,733 cubed meters of aggregate stone. Production is done in 10 moveable asphalt plants with capacities of up to 350 TPH. Asfaltos also runs three emulsion plants located in Tonalá, Ameca and Puerta Vallarta with capabilities of 25,000 TPH.
The company also owns a diverse fleet of heavy construction equipment directly related to paving, rejuvenating and resurfacing highways: pavers, compactors, spreaders, sprayers, line painters, sweepers, bull dozers, tanker trucks, and milling machines. Asfaltos Guadalajara is especially proud of its collection of stone crushers, boasting that it owns practically every model on the market. This specialized equipment is also available for rental through another division of the Garcia Asencio Group.
As a manufacturer and a supplier, Asfaltos Guadalajara produces an extensive range of asphalt and concrete products. The company works with both hot mix and cold mix asphalt compounds
using both new and recycled materials. The star product is GAC Design Asphalt which was developed in Asfaltos Guadalajara’s research and development department. GAC design asphalt is more durable in thinner layers and is therefore more cost efficient.
Other products include slurry seals where asphalt is mixed with fine stones and applied directly to the road surface to waterproof, seal surface cracks, and correct minor surface irregularities. Hot and cold asphalt sealants waterproof road surfaces and delay deterioration. Of course, the company produces a large variety of asphalted concrete or blacktop to both Mexican and international specifications such as S.C.T (N-CAL-1-01-00) or CAPUFE, the government’s organization for roads and bridge construction.
The quality control laboratory and the Quality Works Department guarantee the company’s work is done to 100 percent of job specifications. Moreover, in the past three years, the company has introduced ISO standards into its production processes and as a result production and commercialization have become more cost efficient.
INTO THE FUTURE
Garcia Asencio believes that the future for the entire sector is very promising. He feels that over the next 10 years the country’s entire infrastructure must be redesigned to reach world class levels. “Companies like Asfaltos Guadalajara have the technical expertise, the equipment and the familiarity with Mexican laws to do the jobs but Mexico needs to find international financial partners such as venture capital companies or financial institutions interested in joint ventures to complete such an ambitious plan,” he said. However he also points out that the government’s efforts alone will not be enough to bring this about. Strategic partnerships with foreign investors will be required.
Just one year ago, Mexico and the Inter-American Development Bank agreed to expand financing for infrastructure projects at the federal and state levels, with an emphasis on investments involving the private sector or public-private partnerships. This effort will mobilize more than $8 billion in financing from the IDB and public and private sources in Mexico over the next six years.
IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno recently said, “A modern and robust infrastructure is indispensable for competitiveness and regional integration. Under this agreement we will encourage greater participation on the part of the private sector in developing the kind of infrastructure Mexico needs, so that its public sector won’t have to carry all the costs and risks of these investments.”
Given all this, Asfaltos Guadalajara with its high standards of quality, its excellent production capacity and its technical expertise, is a step ahead of the competition. The company’s capacity to respond effectively and immediately to client needs and the guarantee of quality throughout the entire chain of production and services is what sets this company apart from the rest. Asfaltos
Guadalajara is a traditional family company that stands for quality in products and services, commitment to employees, clients and suppliers and progress for Mexico.