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Well-known American Companies in Mexico
Mexico is open to US manufacturers, both large and small. However, so we can use household names, we will discuss here some of the larger American companies in Mexico today.
US companies in Mexico
This Minnesota-based medical device manufacturer has been in Mexico since 1970. Today they have over 12,000 Mexican employees and operate six factories including a large plant in Tijuana, Baja California. This produces highly sophisticated items like: catheters, stents, heart valves and other devices that go into the US and other markets.
Well-known as a manufacturer of cable connection systems, Molex has a factory in the electronics industry cluster around Guadalajara, Jalisco. Here they produce a variety of complex electronic and fiber-optic interconnection products.
GM has been in Mexico since the 1960’s and currently operates four manufacturing plants. These are:
San Luis Potosi, home of the Chevy Trax and GMC Terrain
Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, where the new Chevy Blazer is assembled
Silao, Guanajuato, the Mexican pickup truck production facility
An engine factory in Toluca, State of Mexico
As of 2018, GM was the largest automotive manufacturer in Mexico by units produced, turning out over 800,000 vehicles. One consequence of such volume is that suppliers are drawn into the orbit of these facilities, helping GM minimize inventory and increasing flexibility. Plus, they build a strong local base of technical trades and expertise with demanding automotive quality management systems.
This defense, industrial and aerospace giant has several operations in Mexico. Nogales, Sonora, is home to a factory that produces complex electronics and assemblies for the aerospace industry. Demonstrating the ability of US companies in Mexico to operate to the highest standards, the Curtiss-Wright Controls factory in Nogales is NADCAP certified for brazing and welding, and operates to both ISO 9002 and AS9100 quality management standards.
Another industrial giant, products manufactured by Honeywell in Mexico include a variety of aerospace components. Honeywell is no newcomer to Mexico, having launched its first operation in the country back in 1936. Today, factories including their aerospace plant in Mexicali (part of the Baja California aerospace cluster), turn out consistently high-quality products with the help of over 12,000 employees.
Observations and Conclusions
The five US companies discussed here are in the medical device, aerospace, electrical and electronic device, and automotive sectors. They are producing high technology components and products where quality and reliability are not just expected but required.
The manufacturing processes are highly complex, often requiring clean rooms, and all performed in accordance with demanding quality systems. For most, the need for a highly skilled workforce was one factor driving them to locate within their industry clusters (In the case of General Motors, arguably the clusters have grown up around the factories.).