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Automotive production hits new highs in Mexico

The Mexican Association of the Automotive Industry and its member companies are taking credit for the continued growth of the manufacturing industry in the country. Manufacturers in Mexico, both new and existing companies, are expanding operations across various sectors, but the growth is most notable for what the Association is calling "record-breaking numbers in auto production and vehicle exports."

Last month, according to Eduardo Solis, president of the Mexican Association of the Automotive Industry (AMIA), more than 213,000 cars were manufactured in the country, a 19.4% increase compared to the same period in 2010, and setting a new monthly record in the country.

In the same month, exports rose 21.3%. May capped a five-month growth period that showed a 17.1% production increase compared to 2010 figures and 16.4% over 2008 rates. Mexico's automotive industry is the ninth largest in the world, produced 2.261 million vehicles in 2010, up 50% from 2009, according to AMIA.

In recent OEM news, Mazda announced it would begin construction of a new plant in Guanajuato, Mexico this fall, with vehicle production to start in the second half of 2013. The investment of $500 million will allow Mazda to produce at least 50,000 cars a year at the plant. In addition, the Daimler Trucks North America plant in Saltillo, Mexico, has added a third shift, and hired 479 additional manufacturing workers and 32 additional staff workers.

Automotive systems supplier Delphi is investing $11 million and creating 2000 jobs for a new auto parts manufacturing facility in the state of Durango. This will be the first Delphi plant in that state.

Aircraft manufacturing also is growing. Hawker Beechcraft plan more expansion in Chihuahua City. The company opened two plants in the city in 2011, with plans to invest $108 million more in opening another new plant, which will create 600 new jobs assembling structural parts for King Air turboprop airplanes.

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