The main competitive advantage is the unique design of the car, which has been very well received. Car sales depend on customers’ emotions to a large degree. People buy the cars that they fall in love with. A second competitive advantage is the car’s high performance; the Mastretta is fun to drive.
There are sports car fans throughout Europe, but countries such as the UK, Italy, France, Spain, and Germany are our main markets. We have already secured two distributors that are representing and working for us in Europe, and we look forward to open more offices in the future.
Many large manufacturers are not coming to Mexico to exclusively assemble cars. Instead, they are beginning to design the models here. Companies will be manufacturing more cars and conducting more and more R&D in Mexico, developing technology and innovations. This shift will allow Mexico to develop a more sophisticated car industry in the future.
RIGHT CAR, RIGHT TIME
We have been in Mexico for almost 50 years. We started with the classic Beetle; it was the right car at the right time for the country and the Mexican customer, and allowed us to build a strong presence locally as a market participant and a manufacturer. Over time we added other models for the Mexican and export markets.
Mexico has a major advantage over other countries. We can export duty free to South America, North America, Europe, and Japan. The Mexican free trade network makes this possible; it represents a competitive edge for Mexico, and has driven the growth of the auto industry.
One trend in the Mexican automotive industry over the past few years has been that the country is becoming the production center for compact and sub-compact cars for the US market; cars that were not even being offered in the US market before are now assembled in Mexico.
The success of the automotive cluster in Nuevo León is an example of something that has worked well in Monterrey, where 20 different companies work together to exchange practices in a very open way. It offsets even the most expensive labor costs we have in the city.
In Mexico, about 3,400 people are working for us to complete 40% of global Metalsa operations, which is the manufacturing of structural components for commercial vehicles, mostly pickup trucks. We supply 100% of the chassis frames for Dodge Ram, Toyota, and Ford trucks in the US.
The most contentious issue in the industry now is fuel efficiency. There are only two solutions: to improve engines or to manufacture lighter trucks. Every structure has various functions, such as towing, loading, and absorbing energy in an accident. Our R&D team is working on testing new material and new processes to meet the increasing demand for fuel-efficient structures.
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