Honda recently began construction on its new transmission plant in Celaya in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato. The facility has an initial investment of $470 million and is expected to generate 1,500 jobs. This construction is only part of a boom of automotive manufacturing in Mexico, which is seeing many international automakers establish new plants and factories within its borders.
Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo laid the cornerstone during the ceremony that marked the Honda transmission plant's opening. He made strong statements about the importance of the automotive manufacturing industry in Mexico, and where the country hopes to take its involvement in that sector.
"At present, countries not only export finished goods; they are part of value chains," Guajardo said according to The Latin American Herald Times. "And the strategy of the transmission plant we're inaugurating fits into that integration of value chains."
Guajardo hopes to make Mexican consumers part of the reason companies choose manufacturing in Mexico. To this end, he is working to regulate imports of used cars, and to make it easier for Mexican consumers to finance the purchase of new vehicles. Already an attractive location for automakers, Mexico may become even more valuable to them as a result of these initiatives. The country's proximity to the U.S., a major market for cars, has long been acknowledged as a benefit of manufacturing in Mexico. If Mexico itself becomes a strong market for automotive sales, manufacturers will find it even more appealing as a production destination.
The value of manufacturing in Mexico is already well-established among automakers that are drawn by the possibility to reduce manufacturing costs by expanding to Mexico. There are also advantages in the cost of labor and a friendly local government that would like to promote manufacturing.