Foreign investment is only a part of the automotive industry of Aguascalientes. Local companies also play an important role in the dynamics of the sector so, the closer they are to one another, the higher their collaborative potential will be to compete with larger companies on an equal footing.
Grupo MEAN was created to boost state companies’ participation in an industry that used to be led solely by international giants. The group’s approach is based on sharing efforts, experiences, and good practices to break into the market through collaborative work.
After only five years from setting their objective, MAEN’s member companies have gone from eight to more than thirty. This increase reflects the group’s performance in the automotive industry and has brought bigger opportunities for local workers.
Cuitláhuac Pérez Cerros, the group’s president, attributes this success to the confidence and transparency of MAEN’s companies, which have also acted as a magnet and has inspired more people to join the organization:
“The effort we have put into this project has proven worthwhile. The concept of ‘sharing’ has given us an identity. It is thanks to it that joining companies learn the path they need to follow to grow—and avoid losses—through the experience, technology, capacity, raw material, and human capital we offer them,” said Pérez Cerros
The Sector’s Challenges
The automotive industry will be facing new challenges in the upcoming years—which are not yet quite clear—vis-à-vis the new federal government and a renewed trade agreement with the United States and Canada. Taking this into consideration, the MAEN group is confident that the diversification of sectors is an effective strategy to get ahead of any future scenarios.
Pérez Cerros admitted, “It is not easy to talk about what the future holds for us, but we must stop speculating. We need to increase our capacities internally, and so one of the solutions we must commit ourselves to is diversification.”
MAEN’s president believes that boosting the domestic market is a task our national industry must follow to grow stronger and bring about greater stability. “We cannot afford to wait and see if what happens in other parts will affect us. Mexico has very attractive sectors to give a boost to, like Information Technologies, Industry 4.0, and Agribusiness… We need to strengthen the infrastructure and capacities of such sectors to continue growing,” stated Pérez Cerros.
Pérez Cerros also underlines efforts of the state government to strengthen regional work which he considers to be a strategy that will mean more and better opportunities for the local industry: “Our present economic development is rather good, and the initiative to create an alliance to strengthen all sectors of the states in the Bajío Region is phenomenal.”
Knowledge Economy: The New Bet
Advancing local industry’s technology is, to MAEN, fundamental to economic diversification, and it has become part of the group’s plans to drive the future of Aguascalientes:
“In the coming years we will be betting on advancing technology from within local companies to strengthen domestic markets and to replicate the model throughout the country… a time will come when we will rely more on Mexican technology and less on other countries’ projects,” stated Pérez Cerros’
He also believes that the project was born when the state’s “business ecosystem is evolving, where more and more companies are thinking globally and cooperatively. There has been a profound transformation of the business culture in Aguascalientes. We no longer think foreign companies are the only ones with the capacity to develop technology or to lead the market. Therefore, there are more of us deciding to enter the competition. Yes, this may intensify rivalries, but it also generates an increasingly dynamic economy.”