Aftermarket Remains an Essential ActivityBy Alejandro Enríquez | Wed, 04/22/2020 - 12:17
The Minister of Health issued a decree on March 31 where it labeled some activities as essential. Notably, most automotive-related activities were not essential but one: the aftermarket. ARIDRA's president, Antonio López says: "ARIDRA's proposal is to keep the spare market alive so we can provide service to other essential industries such as public and cargo transportation."
ARIDRA is one of the oldest automotive industry associations in the country. With 76 years of existence, it represents the interests of large and small spare parts manufacturers, distributors, importers and representatives.
Essential activities regarding automotive remained unclear until April 8, when the Minister of Communications and Transportations issued a second decree regarding essential activities in the industry. The text says that regarding federal transportation, activities related to "maintenance services for vehicle fleets, spare part supply and related services" are essential. This allows for 45,000 spare shops to keep operating. "We urge our members to follow the recommendations made by the Minister of Health and avoid having more than 50 people under the same roof," said López.
The aftermarket in Mexico has a value of US$28 million that services a vehicle park of 32.5 million vehicles, according to ARIDRA. To prevent any conflicts with local or federal authorities, the association recommends spare shops to have the decree available in case authorities require it.
Pentagon Urges Mexico to Label Automotive Operations as Essential
The Pentagon has urged Mexico to reconsider its position regarding the automotive industry and its designation as a non-essential activity. "I think one of the key things we have found are some international dependencies. Mexico right now is somewhat problematical for us but we are working through our embassy," said Ellen Lord, Defense Undersecretary for Acquisition and Sustainment. She also announced its intentions to write to the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs to "ask for help to reopen international suppliers."
After ongoing lobbying efforts by industry associations such as AMIA, AMDA, INA and ANPACT, the government has not yet changed its position regarding automotive production in the country.