Mexican automotive manufacturing has reached record levels in 2011 in terms of vehicle production and exports. While OEMs and suppliers have made new investments in the Mexico automotive sector, much of the growth that is occurring is the result of the expansion of plants already in operation.
During the month of January, GM announced that it would invest $540 million dollars at its Toluca plant to manufacture two types of low emission engines for the North American marketplace. The jobs that eventually will be created at the Toluca Mexican automotive manufacturing complex are numbered at 1000. Five hundred positions will be direct labor manufacturing, while the second half will consist of indirect and administrative positions. GM has operated Mexico automotive facilities for 75 years and employs about 11,500 people at its corporate offices in Mexico City and plants in Toluca, Silao, Ramos Arizpe, Cupuan and San Luis Potosi.
In March, Nissan announced that it would invest more than $1 billion dollars at its Mexican automotive manufacturing facilities in Aguas Calientes and Cuernavaca. The dollars will flow into these production facilities from 2011 until 2013, and will enable Nissan to begin to produce a new compact sedan and a small “multi-purpose” vehicle in Mexico. Nissan’s goal is to boost its production to 700,000 vehicles. Much of this is targeted for sales in Mexico and in other developing Latin American countries.
During the month of March also, Chrysler celebrated the beginning of production of its Fiat 500 vehicle in Toluca, Mexico. The 500 is the model that will reintroduce the Fiat brand after an almost thirty year absence from U.S. automotive dealerships.
June brought with it the announcement of another large infusion of investment capital into the Mexico automotive manufacturing sector. Mazda announced that it will spend $500 million dollars in the construction of a new assembly plant in Salamanca. Salamanca is a city of approximately 261,000 located in the State of Guanajuato in Central Mexico. It is projected that the facility’s production will be approximately 140,000 units a year, and will also build four cylinder engines that it will sell in Mexico and other developing Latin American markets.
In recent days, during the month of August, German auto parts manufacturer Voss Automotive announced plans to invest $10 million dollars in a Mexican automotive parts production plant in the State of Coahuila. Delphi, the American auto parts manufacturer, has also made similar investments in the State of Durango.
Additionally in August, Honda announced that it would make a $800 billion in Mexico in the city of Celaya in the Mexican State of Guanajuato. The Mexico automotive plant is projected to manufacture 200,000 fuel efficient vehicles per year, and will eventually create position for 3,200 Mexican automotive workers.
On August 9th, the Wall Street Journal reported that July Mexico automotive production numbed 209,534 units. This number represents a 16% increase in the number of vehicles produced in Mexico one year ago, and is the largest number of vehicles ever produced in the Mexican automotive sector during the month of July.
The Mexican automotive industry is clearly in an expansion mode.