Saturday, October 25, 2014

Aguascalientes - Mexican Powerhouse

This interesting article came out last month:
Mexico has leapfrogged other auto producing nations. In 2009, Mexico was the world’s 10th largest auto producer. But it’s soared past Spain and France, and earlier this year it surged by Brazil to become the world’s No. 7 automaker and the fourth largest exporter. Experts say Mexico is one of the most dynamic hubs of the global auto industry.

Gone are the days when Mexico produced only compact sedans and pickup trucks. Later this decade, new plants will be producing premium vehicles, BMWs and Mercedes, Infinitis and Audis. Many Nissan vehicles that roll out of the existing plants in Aguascalientes are bound not for domestic showrooms or to auto dealers in the United States but for Brazil, Colombia, the United Arab Emirates and dozens of other markets.

The huge growth comes not just because of Mexico’s good highways and railways, its healthy steel industry and its cheap wages. It’s also because of plentiful engineers and the skill of global automakers at keeping quality high, wherever their cars are built.

“The quality and cost of Mexican (automotive) products have no equal in Latin America,” said Luis Lozano Soto, automotive team leader at the Mexico City offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers, a global consulting firm.

There’s another key factor. President Enrique Pena Nieto, in announcing in August that the South Korean automaker Kia would build a $1 billion plant outside Monterrey, noted that Mexico has free-trade agreements with 45 nations. The United States, in contrast, has free-trade accords in force with only 20 countries. Brazil has only eight free-trade agreements.

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