MEXICO CITY Mexicos
auto industry will end 2012 with an internal investment of
about $6 billion, double the year-ago level.
Nearly half of that amount, or
$2.97 billion, has been allocated to 23 automotive projects
from Asian companies, according to Luis Olivé Hawley,
head of government agency ProMéxicos unit for
promoting international investment and business.
Last year, companies from South
Korea, Japan, China and India carried out 12 automotive
projects in Mexico with a total investment of $1.93 billion.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has
ranked Mexico in global automotive manufacturing, which is why
Asian investments are returning to the country, he told
AMM sister publication Steel First.
About 80 percent of Mexican
manufacturing is of high specification, Olivé Hawley
said. And Asian countries have noticed, although Japan is a
different case, he added.
"With the overvalued yen, Japan
is looking for a place with better costs, but with equal or
better quality," Olivé Hawley said.
The proximity of the U.S. market
is also a major reason for the boost in Asian investment.
"China is returning to Mexico
with many (new) projects or is complementing those made to
supply the U.S. market," he said.
China is searching for new
niches where international markets are growing.
"To conquer these niches,
especially in more complex markets such as North America, the
Chinese automakers will have to implement strategies to
increase their competitiveness in cost, quality and design,"
Olivé Hawley said.
However, Mexico wont
benefit from Asian investments exclusively.
By the end of 2012, the country
will also receive investments in automotive projects from
Europe and the United States.
"New investments in the
automotive industry will benefit from logistics infrastructure,
roads and railway expansion," Olivé Hawley said.
ProMéxico data indicates
that car manufacturers have invested $10.78 billion in
Mexicos automobile industry since 2007.
The major investors have been
Japans Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.; Detroit-based General
Motors Co.; Germanys Volkswagen AG; Dearborn, Mich.-based
Ford Motor Co.; Japans Honda Motor Co. Ltd.; Italys
Fiat SpA; Japans Mazda Motor Corp; and Germanys
A version of this article
was first published by AMM sister publication Steel