Audio Interview: Identifying and Qualifying Suppliers in Mexico: What Has Changed

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In this GlobalAutoIndustry.com Audio Interview, Ron Hesse speaks with Mark Plum and Bernd Schmitt. Mark is Director, and Bernd is Senior Consultant and Automotive Specialist, both with East West Associates. Before joining EWA, Mark held a variety of senior level positions with USA multinational corporations, with his last position as President of Briggs & Stratton Asia, based in Shanghai, China for 11 years. His experience includes having set-up and headed manufacturing operations in China, Mexico, Vietnam, Thailand, and other global locations. Bernd, like Mark has significant experience, including setting up and heading up manufacturing operations in Mexico, as well as purchasing responsibilities for a number of international automotive supplier operations. Both Mark’s and Bernd’s complete backgrounds are listed on our website.

In the 15-minute Audio Interview, Mr. Plum and Mr. Schmitt discuss these questions:

 What automotive products are available in Mexico? What automotive products are not available in Mexico? How do
companies mitigate these gaps?

 Identifying and qualifying Mexican automotive suppliers has dramatically changed over the past 5 years, as these Mexican suppliers have gotten much busier and supplying large volumes to major automotive companies. Much of this demand is coming from US companies whose customer base is in the US and they are diversifying manufacturing and supply chains from China. Can you discuss these changes and the need for local on-the-ground support in Mexico in order to best identify and qualify these suppliers?

 As companies are becoming more comfortable in Mexico, many are looking to establish manufacturing operations in

Mexico. Can you discuss the advantages and challenges of establishing operations in Mexico? Nearshoring of companies relocating to Mexico from China and the US has continued as these companies are trying to get
closer to their US/North American customer base. What have been the challenges to nearshoring to Mexico over the past
3-5 years?

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