The Leading Industries and Manufacturing Companies in Mexico

October 9, 2019

Recent economic forecasts shine brightly on the continued growth and future of manufacturing in Mexico. Expert’s optimism for sustained growth is based on trends demonstrating an increasing share of American manufactures fleeing Asia—namely China—for Mexico, citing competitive wages, specialized workers, and the global costs of oil as deciding factors. Hearing this, you may be curious about how the manufacturing industry is structured in Mexico. Below, we’ll discuss the major manufacturing industries within the country and highlight some of the top companies operating within those spaces. 

List of Manufacturing Companies in Mexico

While Mexico has thousands of maquiladoras producing a variety of goods, the country focuses primarily on manufacturing for three major industries:

  1. Automotive 
  2. Medical Devices
  3. Aeronautics

Automobiles 

The revision to NAFTA, which came in the form of USMCA, had significant impacts on the manufacturing of automobiles within the country. In particular, the required 20% increase in the Rule of Origin and local content production from 62.5% to 75% by 2023 will encourage more auto manufacturing to be conducted within the country. This and the conditions discussed above are just some of the reasons why the auto manufacturing sector is the world’s fastest growing manufacturing cluster. 

As a result, the auto industry hosts more than 800,000 jobs directly related to the manufacturing process. Per Switzerland Global Enterprise

  • Due to the close integration into the North American market, Mexico is a major manufacturer and exporter of vehicles (11% of Mexican exports 2017) and vehicle parts (6.7%). 
  • The Mexican Industry produced 3.9 million vehicles in 2018 and registered an increase of 6% in vehicle exports, making it the 4th largest vehicle exporter. 
  • Despite political and economic changes, Mexico remains the seventh-largest light vehicle manufacturer globally—and the largest in Latin America. 
  • The industry and the government expect the continued growth to lead to almost 5 million vehicles being produced annually by 2020.

Currently, the ten biggest auto companies that made the decision to host their manufacturing production in Mexico include:

  • Toyota
  • Volkswagen Group
  • Daimler
  • BMW
  • Ford Motors
  • Honda Motors 
  • General Motors
  • Hyundai Motors
  • Nissan Motors
  • SAIC Motors 

Further, several other powerhouses have stated intentions or initial plans to set up plants in Mexico. For example, in 2016, Audi AG opened up an auto plant in San José Chiapa, saying: “The plant in Mexico is a milestone in the history of our company and an important step in our internationalization. It is one of the most modern factories on the American continent. With this facility, we have established an important site for the export of our automobiles to customers all over the world.”

Medical Devices 

Tijuana Mexico and Baja California have become havens for medical manufacturing device companies, with the largest concentration of medical device manufacturing employees in North America. 

The maquiladoras within this space produce a variety of lifesaving or life bettering devices such as:

  • Dentures
  • Electronic thermometers
  • Hemodialysis components
  • Infusion pumps
  • IV administration sets
  • Lenses
  • Medical supply
  • Nebulizers
  • Orthopedic braces
  • Oximeters
  • Pacemakers
  • Single use medical supplies
  • Stents
  • Surgical kits and equipment
  • Urinary catheters
  • Wheelchairs
  • X-ray film marking systems

Per Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography, the value of all devices made in Mexico in 2011 was approximately $8.6 bn USD. They estimate that figure will surpass $15 bn USD by next year. Of these, more than 90% of all devices produced are directly exported to the States or Canada. The largest American producers located in Mexico include: 

  • 3M
  • Becton Dickinson
  • Boston Scientific
  • Cardinal Healthcare
  • GE
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Kimberly Clark
  • Siemens Healthcare
  • Stryker Incorporated 
  • Tyco

Aerospace 

The aerospace industry is one of Mexico’s top performing manufacturing sectors and has experienced continued growth over the years. The government has sought to further stimulate this growth by creating incentives, training programs, and university programs positioned to produce specialized workers. According to NAPS:

  • From 2013 – 2015, there was a reported 20 percent average annual export growth, leading to 63,000 jobs created in 2016 alone. 
  • Accumulated direct foreign investment from 2007 – 2017 is upward towards $6 billion.
  • Aerospace firms grew from 112 in 2009 to 330 in 2017.

Today, the top aerospace manufacturers include:

  • Bombardier Inc
  • EATON Corporation 
  • GKN Aerospace 
  • Goodrich Corporation 
  • Honeywell 
  • ITR 
  • MD Helicopters 

Mexico Manufacturing Companies

If trends continue, we can expect to see continued growth in the number of US companies doing business in Mexico. Its friendly manufacturing climate, cheap yet skilled labor force and close proximity to the states makes it an enticing option for any business considering a new manufacturing location. 

Is your business considering a move to Mexico? If so, NAPS can facilitate the process. We specialize in outsourced administrative and compliance management services that ensure long-term success for US companies manufacturing in Mexico. Reach out today, and we’ll answer any questions you might have! 


Content reviewed for accuracy & relevancy by:

Megan Richford

This content has been reviewed for accuracy by Megan Richford. As NAPS’ Marketing and Communications strategist for the last 7 years, Richford has become an expert in the industry with extensive knowledge of the manufacturing industry in Mexico.