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News Article

Five Women Leading Mexico’s Automotive Industry

By Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Tue, 03/09/2021 - 10:43

International Women’s Day in 2021, which commemorates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, takes place amid a pandemic that has taken a toll on numerous economic sectors, including Mexico’s automotive industry. Today, five female leaders in the automotive industry share with MBN their experiences in facing the pandemic and the opportunities of tomorrow.

Carmen Hernández – Director-General of the Jalisco Automotive Cluster

“The pandemic has given us life lessons as individuals. We need to think about improving ourselves as human beings and professionals.” Hernández addressed the challenges Jalisco Automotive Cluster and its members have faced during the pandemic and how innovation became necessary. She also shared strategies to strengthen local suppliers during this troublesome period, in which the sector launched a supplier development program aimed at SMEs. The program included an initial assessment and many recommendations so SMEs can meet industry standards. Hernández also stated that the National Automotive Cluster Network, which is formed by 10 automotive clusters from different regions in the country, is working together on an assessment to identify opportunity areas in the supply chain. She believes USMCA will bring more opportunities for Tier 2s in Mexico as there is potential for suppliers to increase production capacity.

Monica Doger – Director General of CLAUZ

My vision is to help the current ecosystem between government, academic institutions and companies to thrive.”

Doger highlighted the efforts made by CLAUZ to protect small suppliers while complying with health protocols set out by the federal government. She also shared plans for strengthening the partnerships between CLAUZ and academic institutions as the cluster’s 2020-2021 strategy is to increase partnerships among public and private institutions. Doger also explained the cluster’s commitment to promoting dual-education programs at the high-school level as CLAUZ is an ecosystem where universities, government and companies work to strengthen and further develop the automotive sector in the region. “Our goal is to foster investment, increase exports and create more jobs,” she said during her interview.

Claudia Márquez – CEO of Hyundai Motors Mexico

“It has been really exciting to see teamwork, empathy and understanding during the unprecedented situation we are all living.”

Márquez worked 25 years in the automotive industry, which she says can be very traditional. She highlighted the importance of keeping in touch with her staff through the pandemic and understanding what each team member needs from each other during this time. Márquez mentions that the pandemic forced Hyundai to take different approaches, which she believes is an example of how flexible the automotive sector is. “There is a global inclination to be more empathetic and resilient in the face of the crisis,” she said in her interview.

Elisa Crespo – Executive President and Adviser at the Automotive Cluster of the State of Mexico

“In today’s environment, inclusiveness has also become a factor to consider.”

Crespo explains that many companies shared their concerns with automotive clusters, which mediated with the government to create the necessary health protocols to resume operations and honor commitments with customers. She states that the Automotive Cluster of the State of Mexico is an essential articulator of trends in the industry, including technological transformations and consumer trends. Crespo also highlighted that sustainable development and mobility will be strengthened after the crisis. It is the industry’s job to adapt. “Clusters are a strategic communication channel and we took an active role amid the pandemic,” she said.

Nazareth Black – Brand Director of Zacua and CEO and Founder of Car Fast

“It is time to change; it is time to move on.”

Black argues that it is time to make a change in Mexico, particularly considering the current health crisis. She believes Mexicans are capable of complete car developments and that the country can be an important vehicle producer that follows new trends. “The time has come to raise awareness and accelerate the adoption of electromobility,” she wrote for MBN.

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Jorge Ramos Zwanziger Jorge Ramos Zwanziger Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst