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Mexico manufacturing PMI down to lowest point since August 2011

Just three years ago, Mexico was on the comeback trail as more U.S. manufacturers looked to our southern neighbor for labor cost savings that were starting to erode in China. Mexican states competed heavily for foreign investment with “unprecedented” financial incentives, according to a report from www.mexicogov.org released in March 2010.

Clare Goldsberry

April 17, 2013

3 Min Read
Mexico manufacturing PMI down to lowest point since August 2011

Three years later, the HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index shows that manufacturing production in Mexico for March 2013 increased at its weakest pace since August 2011, with the PMI falling to 52.2 in March. Both the rates of output and new order growth eased in March after a particularly weak February with a PMI of 53.4.
According to the HSBC PMI report, the amount of new work received by manufacturers rose in March, “with one-in-four firms reporting an increase since February.” Greater demand was largely cited by respondents to the survey. “Overall, new order growth was solid, but having slowed for the third month running, was the weakest since January 2012,” said the report.
The weaker expansion in new work contributed to a slower rise in output in March, with manufacturing production rising only modestly. “Concurrently, stocks of finished goods were largely unchanged since February, while the reduction in backlogs of work was the strongest in six months,” the report noted.
With that said, the latest report on Mexico’s automotive industry in MexicoNow reveals a robust industry segment, with Mexico’s production of light vehicles set to reach four million units by 2017. The U.S. market “captures about 70% of Mexico’s light vehicle exports, evidently Mexico’s main auto output driver,” said the MexicoNow (www.mexico-now.com) report.
MexicoNow’s overview of the 140 primary real estate projects for 2012, published in the January/February 2013 issue, reads like a Who’s Who of global manufacturers, including Caterpillar, Delphi, Denso, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, John Deere, Plantronics, Honda, and many more.
Over the past few months, 10 new OEM projects have been announced for Mexico, which includes just about every major vehicle producer. Ford Motor Co. announced plans to increase output by 15% in Mexico, driven largely by healthy sales of the updated Fusion, which is well both in the U.S. and Mexico according to SupplierBusiness, an IHS business unit.
MexicoNow reports that in addition to the OEMs, automotive suppliers are expanding operations as well. Yazaki announced plans to open a third plant in Chihuahua City, and will be the company’s largest molding operation in the Americas. Yazaki will supply Chrysler, Ford, Toyota, Honda and Nissan with connectors and other plastic components.
Delphi is investing $23 million in what will be the company’s first plant in Durango, Mexico, to supply customers such as GM, Johnson Controls, Flex N Gate and NYX Inc., in North America.
Summit Polymers (www.summitpolymers.com), headquartered in Elizabethtown, KY, opened a new injection molding facility last year in Silao, Mexico, with presses ranging from 75-1500 tons. The company is a Tier One supplier specializing in design, engineering and manufacturing of interior kinetic and decorative components and systems. The company has been in Mexico since 1987, where it established an injection molding facility in Matamoros. That facility has 25 presses ranging from 120-1100 tons.

Denso will begin manufacturing vehicle air conditioning units in a new 25,600-sq-m plant the company is building in Guanajuato, Mexico, at an investment of US$57 million. Production is projected to begin in October of this year, according to MexicoNow’s report.

It would appear from these various reports that Mexico continues to provide opportunities to mold manufacturers looking to serve the Tier One automotive suppliers, as well as a range of other manufacturers in the aviation, electrical and electronic, and consumer markets.

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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