Cementos Mexicanos

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Cementos Mexicanos

Founded in Monterrey, Mexico, in 1906, Cementos Mexicanos (CEMEX), over the course of the twentieth century, became the third-largest cement supplier in the world, as well as one of the largest building materials suppliers. Originally called Cementos Hidalgo, the company began to dominate the local market in 1931, when it merged with Portland Monterrey and officially changed its name to Cementos Mexicanos. CEMEX slowly expanded in the mid-twentieth century by purchasing local companies. When Lorenzo Zambrano, grandson of the founder, became the chief executive officer in 1985, CEMEX had become the second-largest producer in Mexico. Zambrano initiated an aggressive international expansion. First, the company began buying companies in Spanish-speaking countries like Spain and Panama. In 1994 the company purchased its first U.S. company and later in the decade moved into Asia and Africa. As of 2003, CEMEX relied on Mexico for only a third of its sales. The United States followed with 15 percent. Business case studies have examined how CEMEX management aggressively utilized computers and satellite tracking technology to increase efficiency. For instance, when CEMEX took over the Rugby plant in England, the new management improved the production from 70 percent to 93 percent capacity. With this productivity and vigorous expansion, analysts predicted that CEMEX would continue to be among the most competitive cement producers in the world.

See alsoIndustrialization .


Agtmael, Antoine W. van. The Emerging Markets Century: How a New Breed of World-Class Companies Is Overtaking the World. New York: Free Press, 2007.

Barragán, Juan. Juan F. Brittingham y la industria en México, 1859–1940. Monterrey, Nuevo León: Urbis Internacional, 1993.

                                            Byron Crites