Why Mess With the U.S. Auto Industry’s Success?

10/16/2017 RealClearWorld

By Duncan Wood

Since the economic crisis of 2008-2009, the U.S. auto industry has been on a tear. Despite the claims of the Trump administration, there are 1 million more cars per year built in the United States now than in 1993. The United States has never before seen such extraordinary automotive production, and the industry has not been this competitive against foreign imports since the 1960s. Between 2009 and 2016, more than 276,000 automotive jobs have been added in the United States (a jump of 41.6% percent), jobs with generous salaries and benefits. Auto-parts producers have also benefited as service providers, as vehicle sales have risen to record levels.

What made this transformation possible? In part it was due to changes demanded by the government in exchange for bailing out the industry, and in part to the opportunity seized by the industry to modernize practices that had held back its competitiveness. But a major factor in the automotive renaissance in America has been the role played by the integrated production system incorporating suppliers and plants in Mexico and Canada, and across the world.

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Export Advice: Doing Business in Mexico’s Automotive Industry

07/21/ 2016 Industry Week

automobile.jpgMexico may surpass India by 2020 as the sixth largest vehicle producer globally, according to the Mexican Association of Automotive Industry. The automotive industry accounts for 18% of Mexico’s manufacturing sector and 3% of its national gross domestic product. Mexico’s auto parts industry is closely tied to its American counterpart and economic growth in the United States.Monica Martínez, commercial specialist, U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, discusses opportunities in the below Q&A. Martinez is part of the U.S. Commercial Service’s worldwide network of 108 offices across the United States and in U.S. embassies and consulates in more than 75 countries that help U.S. companies export.

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NAFTA May Have Saved Many Autoworkers’ Jobs

3/29/2016 The New York Times

When Donald Trump threatened to “break” the North American Free Trade Agreement, auto industry workers offered up some of the loudest cheers.

Mr. Trump easily won the Republican primary in Michigan this month. The state, home base for the American auto industry, also delivered an upset victory to Bernie Sanders, the Democratic anti-Nafta standard-bearer.

But the autoworkers’ animosity is aiming at the wrong target. There are still more than 800,000 jobs in the American auto sector. And there is a good case to be made that without Nafta, there might not be much left of Detroit at all.

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Detroit’s Big Three accelerate plans to build more small cars in Mexico

11/16/2015 Reuters

autosDetroit’s Big Three automakers are accelerating plans to produce more small cars for the North American market in Mexico as they seek to reduce labor costs, while using higher-paid U.S. workers to build their very profitable trucks, sport utility vehicles and luxury cars.

New versions of several of their popular U.S. compact cars are expected to be made in Mexico, people familiar with the companies’ plans said. They include General Motors Co’s new Chevrolet Cruze hatchback, a successor to Ford Motor Co’s Focus compact and a replacement for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Jeep Compass compact SUV.

The decisions are prompting three major automotive research firms, who are often used by the automakers and their suppliers for industry forecasting, to project a big increase in Mexican output of small cars by the three companies.

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Twenty years after NAFTA, a mini Detroit rises in Mexico

09/25/14 Bridge

iStock_000008876270Medium“The auto industry in Mexico is just booming, it’s taking off right now and it´s probably the industry in which Mexico is the most competitive,” said Christopher Wilson, a senior associate with the Mexico Center at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Wilson and others say Mexico’s ascension is a combination of low labor costs, a shift to an export-based economy in which 80 percent of vehicles produced in Mexico go to the powerful U.S. market, a well-defined NAFTA corridor, and modern factories that are more efficient and safe. An influx of banks has provided workers with greater access to credit.

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Mexico’s Auto Industry Overtakes Brazil’s

08/08/14 The Wall Street Journal

cars in trafficBolstered by a recovering North American market, the output of Mexico’s booming automotive industry is cementing a slight lead over Brazil, its stumbling regional rival.

Mexico’s export-driven production of cars and light trucks jumped 7.5% in the first seven months of 2014 to nearly 1.86 million vehicles, compared to the same period a year earlier, according to data released by Mexico´s automotive-producers chamber.

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Kia in talks to open $1.5 bln Mexico plant

07/22/14 Reuters

Road - highway interchangeSouth Korean automaker Kia Motors Corp is in talks with Mexico to open a new, $1.5 billion auto plant, officials of the northern state of Nuevo Leon said on Tuesday.

Rolando Zubiran, secretary of economic development in Nuevo Leon, said negotiations on the plant were under way and involved Nuevo Leon, the Mexican federal government and Kia, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Co.

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