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Understanding the growth of Mexico's aerospace cluster

Mexican manufacturing facility in which a large aerospace component is being built.
31 Mar 2015

Mexico is home to a variety of industrial clusters that produce high quality goods that are then exported to locations across the globe. The companies that produce these items are drawn to the country for a variety of reasons. The most significant of these is the fact that Mexico boasts a labor force that possesses the technical proficiency to produce products as tiny as medical devices, and as large as automobiles and critical components used in the aerospace industry.

While Mexico's vehicle production industry has propelled the country into its current status as one of the world's fastest growing economies, the aerospace sector is a key contributor as well.

According to Quarterly Americas, in 2011 Mexico exported $4.3 billion in aerospace goods. This number represented a 40 percent increase over figures recorded just four years prior. Analysts predict that this number could double again this year and by 2020 Mexico's aerospace exports could be valued at roughly $12 billion.

Much of this growth will be spurred by the sector's growing workforce and capital investments being made by foreign companies looking to take advantage of all that Mexico has to offer when it comes to producing aerospace components.

Mexico's aerospace cluster is just as important to the country's economy as its automobile production industry.Mexico's aerospace cluster is just as important to the country's economy as its automobile production industry.

OMEGA Engineering establishes a presence in Mexico
There seems to be no end to the number of companies that have either already completed the process or are making plans to expand. With its ability to manufacture goods inside the country and then ship them out to other countries as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement, this is seen as being a highly attractive option for foreign organizations looking to capitalize on the low-cost, high-quality manufacturing activity taking place in the country.

One of these companies is OMEGA Engineering. According to an Aerospace Manufacturing and Design report, as part of its plan to expand into a truly multinational corporation, OMEGA recently christened its new operation in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico. Located in the state of Nuevo León, the city is part of the Monterrey metropolitan area, which is also home to one of the country's largest aerospace clusters.

ProMexicoGlobal wrote that the region is home to 24 companies that employ more than 3,000 people. In addition, Monterrey boasts as many as five universities and a research and innovation center that specializes in aerospace engineering.

"Of Mexico's 31 individual states, 16 of them have factories specializing in aerospace manufacturing."

Aerospace Meetings Guadalajara reported that since 2004, this industry sector has grown 20 percent on an annual basis. This is due in large part to vast numbers of students graduating with degrees in both technology and engineering. Many of these individuals take these courses to secure jobs in the aerospace and automobile industries.

In addition, Quarterly Americas wrote that the Mexican government is increasingly committed to creating training programs at the university level and trade schools that will groom the next generation of aerospace workers, essentially making the industry stronger and securing a foothold as a major industry hub.

At present, of Mexico's 31 individual states, 16 of them have factories specializing in aerospace manufacturing. While Baja California and Querétaro are considered to be the epicenters of the Mexican aerospace industries, between 2008 and 2013, as many as 36 aerospace factories were established in Chihuahua City alone.

In a report from The Daily Transcript, the website wrote that between 2004 and 2014, the number of aerospace manufacturing facilities has grown from 100 foreign companies to more than 300. Companies operating in this sector should begin taking a hard look at the country and creating plans on how to set up operations to capitalize on Mexico's workforce proficiency and significantly lower labor costs. 

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