As a result of the crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the automotive industry has found itself immersed in a less-than-favorable situation. Furthermore, a downward trend in domestic market sales had been dragging on for more than 30 months, and production and export indicators are showing similar tendencies.
This outlook has become a great challenge for Aguascalientes, a state devoted to the auto industry par excellence, as a little over 18.7 percent of its gross domestic product comes from this sector, representing an annual revenue of $40 billion and the creation of 46,000 jobs. Innovation and new local suppliers will play a major role to respond to the emergency because the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) free trade agreement demands, among other things, automobile production with a certain percentage of car parts manufactured in the region.
In this context, José Zozaya Délano, former President and Executive Representative of Kansas City Southern de Mexico for more than 14 years, is now chairing the Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA), where he will be devising strategies to accelerate the recovery of this sector that has been iconic both to local and national economies.
According to Zozaya Délano, the USMCA represents a series of opportunities for the process of regional integration, especially for Mexican small and medium-sized businesses. This, in turn, will give a boost to the local and national economy. “Not only is Aguascalientes perfectly located for sales and distribution, it also has the right efficiency and competitiveness conditions,” pointed out AMIA’s President.
Zozaya Delano assures that this sector has all the potential and strength to get out of the current unfavorable situation since, according to data by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), there are around 900 thousand employees responsible for assembling the vehicle, manufacturing the body, and producing auto parts in Mexico.
“Mexican labor is qualified and ready to take on any challenge, to do any type of work. Mexico must not sell cheap labor, but qualified labor. That is precisely why this possibility and willingness to acquire knowledge and practice as quickly as possible has a lot to do with what has been done well in other parts of the world. We have to follow that example, I think it is fundamental,” concluded Zozaya Delano.