Francisco N. González
Executive President
INA
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View from the Top

Sustainability, Supply Chain, Investment Are INA’s Priorities

By Antonio Gozain | Mon, 08/01/2022 - 11:30

Q: What have been your main strategies in your first year as INA’s executive president?

A: We are lobbying for new regulations and laws that could benefit the industry and its workflow. This year, we have developed committees to discuss the state of the sector, detect problems and solve them. We have committees focused on foreign trade, labor matters, original equipment and aftermarket. INA is also focusing on Industry 4.0 and new technologies. We work hard to make sure Mexico remains a competitive auto parts manufacturer.

Sustainability has become a cornerstone of our work and we are quick to incorporate new technologies so our associates can remain up-to-date regarding the use of new materials and fuels, such as aluminum, lithium and hydrogen. We also closely follow electrification trends, alongside leading countries such as the US, Canada, Japan and Germany.

Q: How does INA work to attract investment into Mexico?

A: One of INA’s main objectives is to consolidate the Mexican map of auto parts manufacturing. To attract investment, the association works in two ways. First, by advising companies arriving in Mexico of the advantages and disadvantages of certain situations. Second, we work closely with the authorities and the private sector during the negotiations of free trade agreements, such as those with Ecuador, South Korea and the UK, to promote and foster investment in Mexico.

Q: What factors make Mexico an interesting country for nearshoring?

A: Mexico’s privileged geographic position, in addition to the USMCA, make it an ideal destination for companies looking to relocate their operations to enter the region. In addition, the country has amazing talent. In Mexico, the wages offered for manufacturing jobs are increasingly improving and young professionals are receiving more specialized training. The proximity to the US and Mexico’s quality education system enable Mexican professionals to enter jobs with a broad set of technological skills.

Q: Automechanika 2022 returned to the in-person format after being absent for three years. What are the main highlights from the event?

A: As part of the organizing committee, we are happy with the results of Automechanika 2022 but we will aim for more next year. Automechanika 2022 was a success. It had a large influx of people and international representatives were highly interested in expanding their pavilions next year. For example, Taiwan said it will double its space in the next edition of Automechanika. Colombia scouted the event and will return next year. Argentina and Germany were also satisfied with the results.

Q: What are the main trends shaping the auto parts market and how are Mexican suppliers preparing to meet those needs?

A: Auto parts production is becoming increasingly sensitive to the availability of raw materials. State-of-the-art technology is becoming crucial in their production as data analytics is being leveraged to avoid material waste and maximize recycling capabilities.

The auto parts market is no longer just mechanical, plastic, rubber and textile components. New vehicles are equipped with screens, systems and advanced technologies, including dashboards and security systems, which require different types of parts and components. Auto tech is changing the supply chain and it is crucial to develop more talent specialized in the field and to upskill the workers who are already on the production lines.

Q: How is INA preparing for the 20th edition of the International Mexican Automotive Industry Congress (CIIAM) as it returns to a physical location?

A: CIIAM is the most important international automotive congress in Mexico and Latin America. With the increasing number of manufacturing companies arriving in the country, the event becomes increasingly important every year. INA has already confirmed three OEMs, in addition to several other large private and public sector players. For the first time in the event’s history, we will recognize those companies and people who have made a great contribution to the Mexican automotive industry.

 

The National Auto Parts Industry (INA) is an organization that supports the growth and sustainable development of auto parts and aftermarket manufacturers established in Mexico through the international promotion of Mexican automotive production.

Antonio Gozain Antonio Gozain Journalist and Industry Analyst