The Business Year

Eduardo J. Solis

President, Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA)

There are four basic elements that Mexico has been presenting as its major credentials to investors. The first and foremost is location. This is key, because of the ability to easily export to the US and Canada, as well as the Latin American market. Second is the network of trade agreements that we have. Mexico has agreements around the globe and enjoys free trade with more than 40 countries. And the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would also offer huge benefits. Third is our robust world-class supplier base. We have a tremendous supplier base that is the number one supplier of auto parts for the US market today. We are also the fifth-largest producer of auto parts in the world and the seventh-largest producer of vehicles. Finally, Mexico has world-class human resources when it comes to technicians and engineers. These all make Mexico attractive to foreign investors.

Guillermo Echeverrí­a

Director General, Vuhl

We are the second to do so after Mastretta. Not many entrepreneurs go into this business, certainly not in Mexico. My family background is all in the automotive on my father’s side. The latter not only raced cars, but also designed and constructed them. All the members of my mother’s family are artists. Therefore, my brother and I started a company in 2007 as a design and engineering consultancy, but really aimed to make sports cars in the future. We were lucky to have the partners, team, and capital ready to start Vuhl 05 in 2010. We programmed a three-year development project in three different stages to ensure we could have this car launched worldwide in that timeframe. In 2013, we launched the car in the UK and in 2014 decided to homologate the car in several places, starting with Mexico and the UK.

Torben Eckardt

Managing Director, Torben Eckardt

Our chairman and CEO are individuals who are driving ideas and ambitions. Today, Volvo is based on idea pools; people are stepping up and challenging and criticizing if they feel it is necessary. We are not afraid to speak our minds, and ideas and initiatives are incentivized. Our design team was given free rein and the financial backing to design its dream car, which is how our new product line with the S90 and XC90 was created. In addition, Volvo came up with the idea of a whole product line with one engine and one gearbox. Swedish engineers had never been given the opportunity to think outside the box during the Ford ownership, but now they were. As a result, they created something unique. That is an example of how a company can be transformed: by turning it upside down, giving people the freedom and the opportunities to speak, and investing money.

Pedro Albarrán

Director General, Hyundai Mexico

Hyundai is now well positioned for a market like Mexico in many ways. It has the right design and style that Mexican consumers seek. It is refreshing and modern; we call it modern premium. Our cars are well equipped and have great audio navigation capabilities. Our vehicles come with a five-year warranty, which is better than the great majority of players in the market. We also establish a strong after-sales process, so customers can come back to the dealership and experience great customer service. Our parts fill rate is 98%, one of the best in the market. Moreover, we have a strong partnership with Bancomer and have been able to supply great credit capabilities to consumers. In 2016, our market share in credit operation was 53%, which is extremely high. We also expanded quickly and now have 50 dealerships nationwide. Mexico is the 12th or 13th market in domestic sales, which was not always the case. This market has a great opportunity for expansion.

Hiroshi Shimuzu

President, Honda de Mexico

Since the beginning, Honda Motors has had a culture of localizing production where we have demand. Under this philosophy, we started the business in Mexico in 1985, when we established Honda de Mexico. First, we started the mass production of motorcycles in 1987 and subsequently added other businesses before beginning mass automobile production in 1995 at our factory in Guadalajara. Now, we have another factory in Celaya to reinforce local and global production. We have another factory in Guadalajara, so when we had a project to establish another factory in Mexico, the first priority was property at a good price. We were not able to find it initially so we looked countrywide. Another important aspect was logistics, meaning that railway and road connections were a key factor. We have many young associates around 22-23 with high levels of passion and confidence in México. Once we conduct training to impart great skills, there will be competitive associates worldwide.



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