By Stephen Downer, Special to Tire Business
MEXICO CITY — Mexico's supply sector will continue to grow in 2016 but at a slower pace, the head of the country's suppliers association said.
“We're expecting a good 2016. But now a good year is 4 to 5 percent growth because the latest news about the American economy is not as good as last year,” Oscar Albín told Tire Business in an interview.
Mr. Albín, president of the Industria Nacional de Autopartes AC (INA), said the industry enjoyed sales of $85 billion in 2015, 6 percent more than in 2014.
“There will be less growth than in 2015 because the global economic situation will affect the American economy,” he said in English, adding that 70 percent of suppliers' production in Mexico is exported to the United States.
Mr. Albín said he is satisfied with the support given to suppliers by federal and state governments in Mexico. However, he warned that the industry faces a shortage of skilled labor in some states, “especially in states like Guanajuato.
“We believe this is something local governments will resolve. We're trying to get more qualified students out of the technical schools and we think we will close the gap. It will take another three years.”
Guanajuato, in north-central Mexico, is one of the country's most industrialized states and has attracted major automotive industry investments in recent years.
Pirelli Neumaticos S.A. de CV passed a production milestone — the 5 millionth unit produced at its plant in Silao, Guanajuato — in June 2015, three years after production at the facility was commissioned.
Stephen Downer is a Mexico-based freelance writer who covers that country and Latin America for Tire Business and its Latin America e-newsletter.