Ford to Invest $2.5 Billion in Mexico Operations
Mexico offers a wealth of business opportunities for companies in the United States. The country’s strategic location makes the market easily accessible, and free trade agreements (NAFTA) simplify the complexities that come with doing business in another country. Additionally, Mexico’s low cost of labor provides U.S. companies with a cost-effective way to manufacture and export goods.
Increasingly, companies within the United States are taking notice of the advantages presented by Mexico. One of the largest industry sectors currently moving into the market is the U.S. auto industry. Leading car manufacturers across the United States have been taking an interest in Mexico; last year, Honda and Mazda began production at plants in Mexico, and General Motors pledged to invest almost $700 million in their Mexico facilities. In 2014 alone, Nissan, Kia, and BMW pledged to invest $1 billion each to build auto-assembly plants in the country, and in April 2015 Toyota announced a $1 billion plant to be built in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato.
With the biggest car manufactures in the country moving their manufacturing operations south of the border, Mexico is on track to overtake Japan and Canada as the United States’ number one source of imported cars by the end of 2015. On Friday, Ford Motor Corporation joined the growing list of U.S. auto manufacturers moving in to Mexico, with the announcement of a $2.5 billion investment to build two new plants for developing fuel-efficient engines and transmissions in Chihuahua and Guanajuato, respectively.
“Ford is making a significant commitment to our business in Mexico with investment in two new facilities, while aiming to make our vehicles even more fuel-efficient with a new generation of engines and transmissions our team in Mexico will build,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s President of The Americas, said in a statement. “These new engines and transmissions will help deliver even better driving experiences and fuel economy gains for customers around the world.”
Ford will allocate $1.1 billion to the new engine facility, which is being built within Ford’s existing Chihuahua Engine Plant, an expansion which is projected to create 1,300 new jobs. Additionally, a $200 million investment, as well as the creation of 500 jobs, will be allocated to the expansion of Ford’s current I-4 and Diesel engines production in Chihuahua. The remaining $1.2 billion will go towards the building of a new transmission within the premises of transmission supplier and longtime partner Getrag, in the State of Guanajuato.
“Today’s announcement is an important milestone in Ford’s 90-year history in Mexico,” said Gabriel Lopez, Ford of Mexico’s president and CEO. “Currently within Ford, Mexico is the fourth vehicle producer, the fourth largest engine producer and is the second largest nation supplying Ford’s global manufacturing facilities. We look forward to delivering even more great products, including new engines and now transmissions, to serve Ford customers around the world.”
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