The Aerospace Industry in Mexico Is Growing Exponentially. Experts Predict This Upward Trend Will Continue.
The aerospace industry has found an ally within Mexico. Mexico is the top sixth supplier of aerospace parts to the U.S. This is above Brazil, Italy, Israel, and China. Furthermore, the country is an attractive destination for manufacturing investments in the aerospace sector, coming in just behind China, India, and the U.S., according to official data.
Mexico is classified as a global high-growth market, and it is in the Top 3 most competitive countries in the aerospace manufacturing cost index for components, just behind China and India.
Mexico’s Aerospace Sector Stands as One of the Country’s Leading Manufacturing Industries.
The aerospace industry in Mexico groups more than 320 companies, most of them OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. U.S. companies or their contractors with an industrial presence in Mexico include Fortune 500 names: General Electric, Honeywell, Eaton, Textron, L-3 Communications and Rockwell Collins. Major players such as Boeing, Bombardier, and Airbus also have operations in the country.
The aerospace industry in Mexico has been concentrated in specific regions. One of these regions includes Tijuana and Mexicali. The aerospace industry in this area has clustered and accounts for one-third of the companies from this sector in Mexico.
Around 90 aerospace companies are in Baja California. This region has the oldest aerospace cluster in Mexico and has been active for more than 50 years. Most of these companies are manufacturers, but around six of them do MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) and another nine are in the design and engineering fields.
The majority of aerospace companies based in Baja California are rapidly expanding their operations and receiving projects with greater value and complexity from their corporate offices. Baja California focuses its innovation capabilities on the complete integration of aircraft systems testing and interior design. In terms ofmanufacturing, it specializes in precision machining, electrical and power systems, hydraulic systems and interiors and metal plate conformation processes. Companies also perform MRO activities on engine parts.
Monterrey Is Quickly Becoming a Significant Hub for Aerospace Manufacturing and MRO
Another active region is Monterrey. Most of the aerospace activity in Nuevo Leon is concentrated in this city. Even though this region does not have an OEM, it has a specialized metal mechanics sector for the aerospace industry as well as parts and components manufacturing and MRO operations. Honeywell will soon open its Global Supply Chain Center of Excellence in Monterrey.
Nuevo Leon has 21 aerospace-related manufacturers, nine MRO companies and seven design and engineering operations.
A Nearshoring Wave in the Aerospace Industry
The aerospace sector has not been left out of the new nearshoring wave. Companies across the U.S. and Europe are looking to bring manufacturing closer to its main markets amid the ongoing supply chain disruption.
The low cost of operations has made Mexico attractive for many OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. Some aerospace companies report up to 30% increase in quality and 50% more efficiency when moving operations to Mexico.
Moreover, aerospace companies have moved a significant amount of manufacturing to Mexico in the last 20 years. In 2022, some aerospace companies in Mexico announced expansions while some suppliers opened operations in the country and this trend seems to continue this year and in 2024.
Even though this nearshoring wave has increased the industrial space needed in Mexico and the vacancy is at a record low of 1%, TECMA has been able to sign short-term contracts for companies seeking to establish an operation in Mexico.
Most of the operations will be in the regions where the aerospace ecosystem prevails such as Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon and Queretaro.
The Mexican Council of Aerospace Industries (FEMIA) forecasts the aerospace industry in Mexico might be fully recovered by the end of this year or at the beginning of 2024.
The figures the industry is trying to reach, or even surpass, are the ones from 2019. In that year, the aerospace industry in Mexico exported US$9.6 billion, a 12% growth compared to the previous year. Last year, the aerospace industry in Mexico exported US$8 billion, an 18% growth from the previous year, according to FEMIA.
If you are seeking to establish a manufacturing operation in Mexico within the Aerospace Industry, we recommend you set up a consultation with one of our manufacturing industry experts.