November 18, 2013
The Economist, 11/15/2013
Mexico, it seems, is an automotive backwater. The country’s consumers are expected to buy barely 1.06m cars and light trucks this year—down nearly 10% from the already weak 1.15m in 2005. Put another way, this is barely one new vehicle for every 150 Mexican residents, compared to more than one for every 20 citizens in America.
So why did Nissan, the Japanese carmaker, this week open a new $2 billion assembly complex in the city of Aguascalientes? And why are manufacturers such as Mazda, Honda and Audi racing to set up factories in Mexico, while General Motors, which already has operations in the country, is set to invest another $700m?
November 15, 2013
The Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.
What the English language press had to say…
There were several news articles focusing on the Mexican economy this week. Reuters highlighted that Nissan Motor LTD is projecting to build 1 million cars in Mexico by 2016, which will help the Country position itself as the export hub in the Americas. The Chicago Tribune noted that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel took his first international trip to Mexico City to sign an agreement that commits the two cities to work together to build up exports, foreign investment, a skilled workforce and research endeavors. According to the article, Mexico City is the Chicago metro area’s second largest North American trade partner, after Toronto. The Wall Street Journal noted that the Mexican Congress has approved a fiscal deficit for next year equivalent to 3.5% of gross domestic product. With the additional spending, the government is trying to jump-start the economy and avoid another year of very low growth. Finally, Al Jazeera America published a piece stating that, despite claims of a growing middle class and increased jobs, poverty in Mexico is rising and the poor “don’t see any difference”.
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November 13, 2013
Nissan Motor Co Ltd will build 1 million cars in Mexico by 2016, cementing the country’s position as the export hub for the Japanese automaker in the Americas, Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn told Reuters as he inaugurated a $2 billion plant.
Most of the cars from the new plant in Aguascalientes in central Mexico will be sent by rail to destinations throughout North and South America. A staff of 3,000 in the light, airy plant filled with rows of shiny yellow robots will produce one car every 38 seconds, in partnership with Nissan’s other Aguascalientes plant.
January 14, 2013
Nissan Motor Co. (7201), the largest automaker in Mexico, will start domestic production of the Note subcompact and export the cars throughout the Americas. The five-door model will be the third assembled at the factory in Aguascalientes, Mexico, according to a Jan. 12 statement. Nissan will keep building the cars in China, India and Thailand while using Mexican-made Notes for the Americas, said Maria Eugenia Santiago, a spokeswoman in Mexico City.
December 3, 2012
The Economist, 11/24/2012
Cuernavaca, a once pretty, now sprawling city with volcano views just south of the capital, is a typical Mexican town. Hernán Cortés stopped off there after toppling the Aztec emperor Moctezuma in 1520; the conquistador’s stables have since been converted into a smart hotel. Yet on the outskirts of the city, in an enormous industrial park, a visitor could forget he was in Latin America. Nissan, a Japanese car giant, has created a factory the size of a village where from next year it will begin turning out thousands of yellow and chessboard-chequered New York City taxis.
March 26, 2012
Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor Co expects exports from its Mexico operations to rise 2.2 pct to 420,000 units in 2012, the company’s chief in Mexico said on Monday.
The company added it expects the value of auto exports to Brazil from Mexico to fall “significantly” after the Mexican government this month agreed to a temporary curb on its auto exports to Brazil, Jose Munoz, Nissan’s chief in Mexico, told reporters. Nissan, Japan’s second-largest auto maker, said in January that it would build a new, $2 billion plant in Mexico to boost sales in the Americas.
Last year, Nissan built more than 600,000 vehicles at its Mexican plants, one in Cuernavaca just south of Mexico City and a second in Aguascalientes.