The aerospace Industry in Mexico
and the French Touch
In the last three decades, the world economy has undergone many changes. Several local economies have been forced to be part of the globalization and the markets corrected their path by developing regional strategies or "nearshoring." The global aerospace industry is a clear example of this trend.
Following the decline of the aviation industry between 2008 and 2009, during 2012 and 2013 there has been a trend towards consolidated growth. This recovery is due largely to the increase in air traffic and the establishment of the middle class in emerging or developing economies. This market has been an important driver for airlines to report sizeable profits. This trend has been vital for countries like China and India to have developed a clear strategy for the aviation industry and consider the overall manufacture of an aircraft in the next few years in order to compete with companies like Airbus and Boeing and even Bombardier and Embraer, to mention a few.
Mexico has been an important factor in this global transformation. Sharing 3,000 kilometers of border with its northern neighbor, Mexico has firmly established as an attractive destination to accommodate key industry players.
The US is the most important market in this sector with 543 billion USD, some 59% of the global market.
According to the US Department of Trade, Mexico is its sixth largest aerospace supplier. In just a decade, Mexico has developed an industrial platform of 287 companies in this sector, involving the creation of more than 35,000 jobs. The sector has recorded an annual growth rate of 17.2% during the last nine years. These figures would have been unimaginable ten years ago.
The French Touch
In 2013, the French aviation industry represented 42.5 billion euros generating 170,000 direct jobs. It is important to mention that 75% of production is exported, being a key piece in the country's trade balance. Almost 900 million euros are destined for research and development activities; this has allowed an important rise in technology development in a knowledgebased economy.
The French aviation industry set its sights on Mexico some years ago and has developed a common strategy that has enabled access to the North American market.
Worth noting is that in 1990 Labinal began operations in Chihuahua. However, a decade later several French companies or consortium divisions like Grupo Safran, as well as Zodiac and Radiall, among others, have expanded to other states around the country.
Grupo Safran has been operating in Mexico for more than twenty years with a dual purpose: to be closer to its clients in North America and to win market share in a zone that is clearly thriving. The group has ten centers in the country, with more than 5,000 employees. Grupo Safran is the primary employer of the aviation sector in Mexico.
Today, the Mexican aviation industry is in consolidation with great challenges and areas of opportunity. On the heels of the success of Mexico's automotive industry, there has been much emphasis on the development of a local supply chain that enables the creation of a local industrial fabric through the generation of joint ventures and strategic partnerships with foreign companies.
Collaboration between government, academia, and industry has been crucial for the sector to shine. The overwhelming success related to training and skills development has also been very important. Many programs have been promoted for the purpose of ensuring that the industry has a permanent supply of skilled personnel with high added value.
Mexico has the potential and conditions necessary to be a major player on the world stage of the aviation industry. Ever more companies strive to become part of this success, and to participate in the flight they embarked on.