Guatemala invests in major vehicle ID plate security

Guatemala City, Guatemala

With this latest order by the end of 2022 Toennjes will have produced some 2.7 million number plates for Guatemala.

Vehicle identification specialists, Toennjes has received new orders recently from the Superintendencia de Administración Tributaria (SAT) in Guatemala, that will mean that by the end of 2022 the company will have produced some 2.7 million number plates for Guatemala – and with greater security than the country has ever had before.

Situated between the Pacific and the Atlantic is the most-populated country of Central America: Guatemala. Since 2008, Toennjes has been active there through a local joint venture. Apart from a few brief interruptions, the German vehicle identification specialist has personalised all vehicle registration plates for the state tax authority, SAT, at a local production facility.

‘SAT wanted a vehicle registration plate that could be neither forged nor manipulated´, explains Olaf Renz, Managing Director of Toennjes. ‘So now, for Guatemala, we are producing the most secure analogue registration plates we have ever made.’ The new number plates carry three holographic elements that meet the same standards as the holograms on bank notes. They are impossible to copy and they self-destruct if removed. ‘The Guatemalan government regards vehicle registration plates as an official document that must be protected accordingly,” Renz adds. ‘It’s the vehicle’s identity card, if you like.’ Not all of the competitors were capable of technically realising these security elements. Additionally, the back of the registration plate carries a barcode and an identification number, which enable a track-and-trace function. This means that the plates can be traced throughout the entire production process through to their issuing to vehicle owners, so preventing manipulation.

The production facility in the Guatemalan capital normally employs ten people to personalise the registration plates. The blanks for these come from Toennjes’ hub in Panama. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the company had to fight for special authorisation and to adapt itself to various regulations and conditions to be able to process the SAT contract at all. ‘Despite this challenge, thanks to good teamwork and a good relationship with our customers, we managed to manufacture the items in a coronavirus-compliant manner and to deliver on time,’ says Renz. He added that this was partly thanks to the joint-venture strategy pursued by Toennjes. The company is represented by subsidiaries in over 50 countries, all of which have local shareholders. This enables the individual production activities to run largely self-sufficiently, while the transport routes are short and jobs are created locally.


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