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News Article

The Future of the Automotive Industry at MAS2021 Echo

By Alejandro Enríquez | Tue, 09/21/2021 - 16:00

The automotive sector continues to adapt to an ongoing supply shortage, while simultaneously keeping up with OEMs’ ambitious carbon neutrality goals and the evolution of car manufacturers into mobility providers. Under these rapidly evolving circumstances, industry experts from the entire manufacturing value chain will meet at Mexico Automotive Summit ECHO 2021 to set the foundations of the automotive industry of the future.

During the past year, the automotive industry underwent one of its most significant transformations in history. Production halts in China and other countries caused by the pandemic are still being felt by North American production lines. Vehicle manufacturers, both light and heavy, and auto part manufacturers continue to adjust their manufacturing lines accordingly as waiting times get longer for certain supplies including special polymers and semiconductors. Several OEMs and Tier 1 manufacturers in Mexico continue to announce reduced shifts or production halts due to the shortages.

At the same time, the race toward carbon neutrality continues throughout the automotive value chain. Renewable power, more efficient production processes, scrap reduction and circular economy, are among the key elements Tier 1s and OEMs are implementing to achieve carbon neutrality faster. Green heavy vehicles are becoming more relevant as to follow Mexico’s new regulations, particularly SEMARNAT NOM-044. Meanwhile, the electrification revolution remains a central element of a more sustainable automotive sector.

Electrified vehicles will play a central role in the future of the sector. While some industry leaders believe that developing economies such as Mexico will take longer to get there, others make the most of the country's privileged position next to the US. Mexico already manufacturers numerous components for EVs.

As the supply chain continues to adapt to global industry megatrends, USMCA continues to strengthen the regional ties of auto part manufacturing. States in the central, northern and the Bajio regions continue to receive important greenfield projects in auto part manufacturing. While new suppliers set up shop in the country, the longstanding players including Faurecia, Continental, Michelin and Bosch, continue to trust the country's talent capabilities with a more solid strategy for R&D, innovation and engineering operations. Local universities and research centers continue to support the sector's efforts to transition from just a manufacturing destination to a mindfacturing country.

The foundations for a post-pandemic world are not only in strategic planning but also on data-management and operations efficiency. Industry 4.0 is being taken to the next level as the offer of cloud data services gets more sophisticated while being more cost-competitive. 5G networks will enable the automation of certain manufacturing processes–or even the entire manufacturing cell–at a faster speed.

These, and more topics will be addressed during Mexico Automotive Summit ECHO 2021. Experts from OEMs such as Volkswagen, to industry-trusted firms such as IHS Markit will go further in the transformation of the sector and the foundations of the automotive industry of the future.

Photo by:   MBP
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst