Donald W. Reynolds National Center For Business Journalism

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Mexico’s auto manufacturing muscle

April 22, 2015

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Ford Livonia Transmission plant in Livonia, Michigan. The iconic American company is investing a lot of money towards production in Mexico. (Via Wikimedia Commons user Dwight Burdette)

In just a week, Mexico’s automotive industry received more than $3 billion worth of good news.

Ford confirmed Friday that it will invest $2.5 billion for new auto engine and transmission plants in the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Guanajuato, according to USA Today. Just a few days before that, Toyota announced plans to build a new factory, also in Guanajuato, after an investment of approximately $1 billion.

The Ford investment is expected to bring nearly 3,800 jobs to the country; Toyota says its new plant will bring 2,000 new jobs.

Both announcements continue a growing trend of auto production in the country. Since 2011, different automakers have announced plans for seven new plants in Mexico. USA Today offers a look at the statistics from the last three announced in 2014:

• Daimler/Nissan, Aguascalientes, $1.4 billion, 5,700 jobs.

• Kia, Pesqueria, $1 billion, no jobs number given.

• BMW, San Luis Potosi, $1 billion, 1,500 jobs.

With a number of free-trade agreements, it’s easy for auto manufacturers to ship worldwide from Mexico, according to the article. It has certainly helped employment numbers as the plants offer more and more opportunities for Mexican workers.

Treaties like NAFTA are even supporting a large number of cars shipments to the United States from its southern neighbor. Cars, trucks and vehicle parts were Mexico’s largest exports to America in 2013, totaling almost $60 billion according to data from the United States Trade RepresentativeThe Wall Street Journal reported in January that the U.S. and Canada combined to buy four out of every five cars that Mexico exported last year.

For story ideas, it could be worthwhile to keep an eye on the country’s auto manufacturing production as automakers invest more and more money into Mexico.

STORY IDEAS

NAFTA

The Auto Alliance

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