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Mexico’s Manufacturing Continues to Grow

Auto production and steel are leading the expansion, according to the Mexican Automotive Industry Association.

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MEXICO CITY — Manufacturing in Mexico continues to grow in 2011 with both new and existing companies expanding operations across various sectors, most notably record-breaking numbers in auto production and vehicle exports.

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In May, more than 213,000 cars were manufactured in the country — 19.4 percent more than in the same period in 2010, representing the highest record, according to Eduardo Solis, president of the Mexican Association of the Automotive Industry (AMIA). In the same month, exports rose 21.3 percent, AMIA reports.

May capped a five-month growth period for the first part of 2011, increasing 17.1 percent over 2010 figures and 16.4 percent over 2008 rates. In addition, Mexico, as the ninth-biggest vehicle producer in the world, produced a record 2.261 million vehicles in 2010, up 50 percent from 2009, according to AMIA.

Continuing the trend in increased vehicle production, Mazda announced last week that it will begin construction of a new plant in Guanajuato, Mexico, this fall, with vehicle production to start in the second half of 2013. The $500 million investment will allow Mazda to produce at least 50,000 cars a year at the plant. In addition, the Daimler Trucks North America plant in Saltillo, Mexico, is adding a third shift and 479 more manufacturing workers and 32 additional staff workers. This will help meet demand for Daimler Trucks North America’s its Freightliner and Western Star trucks.

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Carlos Guzman, ProMexico CEO, recently stated that "because of its manufacturing capacity, Mexico is a very competitive platform for several European and Asian economies that are looking to penetrate or increase their participation in the United States. Mexico is a remarkable manufacturing hub for the automotive industry, among others."

Automotive parts supplier Delphi is investing $11 million and generating 2,000 jobs for a new auto parts manufacturing facility in the state of Durango, Mexico. This will be the first Delphi plant in that state.

Additional manufacturing growth is illustrated by Hawker Beechcraft’s continued expansion in Chihuahua City. The company has opened two plants in the city in 2011, with plans to invest $108 million more in opening another new plant, which will create 600 new jobs assembling structural parts for King Air turboprop airplanes.

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In addition to auto and aircraft production, the steel industry also is growing in Mexico. President Felipe Calderon announced in June that the company Posco, a Korea-based company, is going to expand its steel plant in Altamira, Tamaulipas, with an investment of $300 million. According to Calderon, this expansion will create 300 direct jobs and more than 600 indirect positions.

During the Posco expansion announcement event, Egidio Torre, Tamaulipas Governor, said that this investment shows that there is confidence to invest in the State.

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