Home > Automotive > Expert Contributor

Will Mexico Be Ready for Vehicle Electrification?

By Fernando Enciso - Grupo Surman
Director Mexico


By Fernando Enciso Pérez Rubio | Director Mexico - Tue, 08/23/2022 - 13:00

share it

The world is changing and so are some of us as individuals. There is more consciousness in the way we relate to each other and the environment, affecting our society, different industries and governments. We have rearranged our communication formats, the way we manage our schedules, how we move, when we move, where we go, our consciousness about personal health, animal care, natural resources, etc. We can face this transition from the Industrial Era to the Digital Era as an opportunity to evolve and grow or we can sit and see how others do.

As the world advances very quickly, some countries are evolving at great speed, while others are not moving forward, waiting for more certain times to come. As we are now an almost fully connected world, what will happen is that bigger markets will oblige smaller markets to accelerate and move forward. As such, where does Mexico really stand?

Let’s take into consideration the total light vehicle sales worldwide today (100 percent for first quarter of 2022), in which China represents approximately 39 percent, the US 23.5 percent, Europe 19.6 percent, Japan 6 percent, India 5.6 percent, Brazil 2.7 percent, Russia 1.7 percent,  and others with 4.6 percent.

We may imply that those markets (China, the US and Europe) will lead and push vehicle tendencies as well as future product developments. Based on this, it is important to understand where those three countries are heading to imagine what is going to happen in the rest of the world.

Those governments are changing their mindset and are reengineering their laws and cities, and letting their societies evolve. They are also heavily investing in research and development to accelerate technological innovation and decelerate environmental impact to comply with current needs and requirements.

This is not really new. China started a zero emissions mandate in 2019 that obliged every Chinese manufacturer or importer to make or import at least 10 percent electric vehicles. Another example may be that the US government plans to end purchases of gas-powered vehicles by 2035. On the other hand, Europe has an ambitious goal to become a climate-neutral continent by 2050 and is seeking to have at least 30 million electric vehicles on its roads by the end of this decade.

All these mindset changes are leading manufacturers into new directions and technologies that comply with the main governments’ new regulations in the required timing. They will be reducing combustion engine production and will continue developing high-range batteries and new vehicle platforms that will be demanded by those countries’ consumers. Those big markets will be pushing other smaller countries and markets into the same tendencies.

Meanwhile, what is happening in Mexico? Is our government investing in new clean energy generation facilities? Are we developing the required charging infrastructure? Are we going to be ready when we need to be ready? We must but we have not really invested in these areas and that is becoming a problem that will worsen when the world moves completely into the new era and we aren’t ready for it.  

Taking as reference the first quarter of 2022: Mexico represented just 9.2 percent of the total sales in Europe, 7.7 percent of total sales in the US and 4.6 percent of total sales in China. We are not big enough to stop evolution or influence the speed of change. Manufacturers are not going to slow down their technological innovations and new product launches. They are not going to wait until our market is “ready.” We must speed up and start developing public and private facilities so we can receive fully electric vehicles by 2030.

Several brands have already announced that by 2030, their whole product range will be moved by electric engines, so regarding dealerships, we must also start reengineering our sales and aftersales operations. From now on, each year, we will see a reduction in the arrival of combustion engine vehicles to our facilities and our teams should be ready for the new technology knowledge we need to acquire. We are already buying tools and changing processes to be fully equipped when this happens.

We must start developing future young teams in the different areas of expertise that will be required. On the other hand, educational institutions, such as universities, must also consider the estimated growth in demand for certain careers (electrical engineers versus mechanical engineers. for example) and help us develop this new required talent.

We need to push ourselves and promote change; private and public companies must work together and invest in all these new technologies and facilities, so that our country does not become a second-hand combustion vehicle market.

Just because we do not feel the change today on a daily basis does not mean it is not happening in other cultures around the world. Will Mexico be ready for the change?

Photo by:   Fernando Enciso

You May Like

Most popular