Corona: Born in Antioquia 135 Years Ago, Now a Multinational Giant
Colombia-based Corona — manufacturer of porcelain products, construction goods and majority partner in the “Home Center” retail chain — on August 18 celebrated the 135th birthday of its founding in the Medellin suburb of Caldas, Antioquia.
According to the company, Organizacion Corona traces its roots to 1881, originally as a ceramic dish-wear producer at a single factory.
But in subsequent decades, the company not only expanded horizontally in six major business lines, but also internationally, with 19 plants in Colombia, three in the USA, three in Central America, three in Mexico and one in Brazil, the latter in partnership with Eternit. Sales topped COP$5 trillion (US$1.7 billion) last year and the company aims to triple that by 2025.
The company also boasts of a global supply office in China as well as a commercialization center in Mexico.
In its “Sodimac” partnership with Chile-based Falabella, Corona owns 51% of the “Home Center,” “Constructor” and “Car Center” retail chains.
Through a wholesale operation (“Venta a Empresas Sodimac Colombia S.A.”), it supplies 700 product categories for gardening, construction, hardware, ceramic tiles and home furnishing sectors.
“Today we are a multinational company recognized for our ceramic products for bathroom and kitchen, hardware and crockery, as well as for our novel paints, electrical insulators (ceramic, glass and polymer types), solar panels, industrial minerals, specialized retail and – soon – cement,” added Corona president Carlos Enrique Moreno.
Corona now has more than 14,000 employees and exports its products to major global markets including the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Central America, Italy, Spain, the UK, the Caribbean and Venezuela, according to the company.
In just the last three years, Corona boasts that it has developed more than 500 innovative projects– and has another 60 projects under investigation now at 40 Colombian and international universities.
A new, US$370 million cement plant being built in Antioquia in partnership with Spain-based Cementos Molins would launch production in mid-2018, according to the company. That plant will have capacity to produce 1.35 million tonnes of cement per year, generating 220 direct jobs during operation and 800 during construction, according to Corona.