Those involved in promoting the Mexico aerospace manufacturing sector have set an ambitious goal for themselves. By 2020, Mexico’s producers plan to be, in the aggregate, one of the world’s top 10 suppliers for the aviation and aerospace industry. The stated goal is now within striking distance: Mexico aerospace manufacturing is currently number fifteen worldwide.
While Mexico is already a significant player in the automotive and electronics industries, over the past decade, the country has begun broadening its industrial base, aggressively pursuing aerospace jobs on both the national and state levels following the same track that made them so successful in the automotive sector. The change in just the past five years is undeniable.
Within the borders of the Republic, there are already two hundred and seventy Mexico aerospace manufacturing companies relying upon the superior maquiladora system to produce exceptional quality for considerably lower costs than those found in other higher cost countries. Within the past decade, the aerospace industry in Mexico has reached a compounded annual growth rate of over 15%, and has expanded in several new segments. The aviation manufacturing industry currently employs over thirty-four thousand Mexican workers, many of which are highly skilled. Additionally, from 2009 to 2012, aviation exports doubled, topping $5.4 billion.
Some of the more notable US aerospace companies that have flocked south of the border to Mexico, include: Hawker Beechcraft, Gulfstream Aerospace, General Electric, Textron, and Honeywell. Even with a large and growing U.S. aerospace presence, aviation giants from all over the globe are likewise finding the conditions to be highly favorable in the Mexico aerospace industry. Some of the global players to set up operations in Mexico include France’s Safran Group, Canada’s Bombardier Aerospace, Netherlands’ Fokker, Spain’s Aernnova, and Brazil’s Embraer.
Where in the country are these world-class companies setting up shop? The top five Mexico aerospace manufacturing states are:
1. Baja California: more than 60 aerospace companies employing more than 16,000 direct employees. The state recently confirmed that the aerospace industry has generated over $300 million in Direct Foreign Investment so far in 2013.
2. Sonora: over 45 aerospace companies employing more than 7,000 direct employees. Sonora is recognized for its manufacturing capabilities in aero-engine and industrial gas turbine components.
3. Nuevo Leon: over 20 aerospace companies and about $300 million in Direct Foreign Investment.
4. Querétaro: known for their recent construction of AeroTech Industrial Park, also known as Querétaro Aerospace Valley, which features more than 50 active members generating over 3,600 direct jobs.
5. Chihuahua: 35 aerospace companies employing approximately 8,000 engineers and employees. Local and national governments have spent a combined $20 million over the past 10 years to create vocational schools like the Cenaltec High Technology Center in Chihuahua to turn out the skilled labor needed to sustain this boom.
Given the amount of activity that has occurred in the Mexico aerospace industry going back to about the year 2000, the country is well on its way to breaking into the worlds top ten aerospace supplier country elite.