Mexican aerospace industry continues to climb
Although Mexican aerospace industry exports accounted for only two percent of the country’s total external sales in 2013, industry insiders foresee continued growth in this sector for years to come. At the close of 2013, according to data published by Mexico’s National Aerospace Industry Federation, (FEMIA), Mexican aerospace industry manufacturers numbered two hundred and seventy at the end of the calendar year. Although companies involved in producing goods for aviation end uses could be found in eighteen of the Republic’s thirty-one states, and its Federal District, the five entities with the largest concentration of aerospace industry activity are:
- Baja California with 58 firms;
- Sonora with 48 manufacturers;
- Queretaro with 38 companies;
- Nuevo Leon with 30 aerospace suppliers;
- Chihuahua with 30 firms.
Despite comprising only a small percentage of the country’s overall export manufactures, the dollar value of goods produced and sent overseas by Mexican aerospace industry producers in 2013 totaled US $3.2 billion.
The principal draw for the industry’s manufacturers to set up shop in Mexico is its advantageous overhead and salary structure. According to the 2014 edition of KPMG’s, Competive Alternatives, the global consulting firm’s annual guide to international business costs, Mexican aerospace industry manufacturers typically achieve a cost advantage of up to thirty-three percent when compared to companies in the industry that are operating in the United States, or in Europe.
In the last ten years, Mexico has risen to become the fifteenth most prodigious manufacturer for world aerospace industry customers. In additon to attracting manufacturers known worldwide, such as Bombardier, Beechcraft, Eurocopter, Honeywell and others, many of the suppliers to these bigger companies have followed their migratory path creating thousands of jobs for the country’s laborers.
As a response to growth in the Mexican aerospace industry, the demand for workers that possess the skills required to make aerospace parts that meet exacting international standards has increased exponentially. Mexico has, thus far, responded well to the challenge of creating a skilled workforce in that there are, at present, fifty-two aerospace industry related courses of study offered in twenty-one of the country’s institutions of higher learning. Queretaro, in particular, has operated a university specifically dedicated to providing its workforce the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the Mexican aerospace industry since 2007. In addition to manufacturing, companies are gradually becoming involved in conducting industry research on Mexican soil. Honeywell, for example operates a research facility in the border city of Mexicali, Baja California.