July 10, 2012
By anyone’s standards, Mexico is a major player in the worldwide aerospace industry. In a relatively short time, this country of 113 million people has gone from a minor parts supplier to partner of several large aviation companies by consolidating its aerospace sector and constantly being on the lookout for new business.
Mexico has recorded growth of almost 20% annually in the last seven years, according to the Ministry of Economy. The ministry’s “Strategic Program of the Aerospace Industry 2010-2020” projects exports of $12.26 billion in 2012, with a 14% average annual growth rate.
Airbus, Bombardier and seven other OEMs have production facilities in Mexico, and the country is ranked the sixth-largest supplier of aeronautical products to the European Union and ninth to the U.S.
New business keeps coming to Mexico. At Farnborough, J. J. Churchill, a parts manufacturer, will announce plans to invest GBP5 million ($8 million) in Guaymas, in the state of Sonora, to create an engine parts facility for Rolls-Royce in the U.S. and Canada.
Latecoere Group, a maker of aerostructures and wiring systems for aircraft, will announce plans for a new production facility in Hermosillo, Sonora, with production planned for the second half of 2012. Based on projected delivery rates announced by aircraft manufacturers, the site is expected to employ some 400 people by 2015.
In June, GE Aviation Systems and Embraer announced growth plans for their Mexican operations.
GE announced for the first time that Mexican engineers would participate in the design of air traffic and energy distribution systems, along with landing gear and fault testing design equipment. With these plans, the GE Advanced Engineering Center will grow from 1,400 engineers to 1,600, with 200 of those devoted exclusively to new development.
Embraer and Zodiac Aerospace announced an agreement this summer to manufacture cabin interior parts for the 170/190 family of commercial jets. The facility will be located in Mexico and reinforces a longtime partnership between the two companies.
Earlier this year, Turbomeca, a Safran company, announced the creation of Turbomeca Mexico, in the federal capital of Mexico, known as Federal District – DF. The operation will support users of Turbomeca engines in Mexico, Central America, Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador and Venezuela. At present, Safran has nine companies and more than 3,000 employees in Mexico.