In the forthcoming start of operations of Toyota Guanajuato in 2019, Jun Umemura, vice-president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, Inc. informed that the main competitive advantages the company has found in Mexico are pretty much linked to the growth of the NAFTA region, as the company has operation points in all the involved countries.
In Canada Toyota produces 600,000 vehicles and the star product is the RAV4, being the number 1 OEM; there are four plants in the United States producing the Highlander, Sienna, Sequoia, Tundra and Tacoma, in addition of the Camry, Lexus and Corolla; it is a production volume of 1.3 million. In Mexico the plant in Baja California has a production of 100,000 Tacoma and next year it will increase to 260,000. And in Salamanca, Guanajuato, 100 million dollars were invested to produce the Yaris.
“If we compare these operations in Mexico – where we started in 2004 in Tijuana – the quality of our associates is very high, as well as the processes we use such as the J.D. Power, which provides us many advantages,” he explained.
Regarding the NAFTA he mentioned that there are certain risks given that vehicles and auto-parts are imported abroad, as well as vehicles assembled in Mexico which are exported to countries such as Canada.
In addition, he informed that Mexico exports 2,200 million pieces for Toyota operations in all its plants and in operations in Mexico are imported auto-parts by 3,000 million dollars.
TOYOTA AND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE NAFTA
The auto-parts market and the business cases are adjusted to the demands and policies of presented foreign trade, therefore, in a future can be observed a product change in the automotive plants installed in Mexico.
“Depending on this situation we could adjust, but we support the Free Trade between Canada, the United States and Mexico; all countries always have a strong competition, but in our case we are buying vehicles from Thailand and Indonesia, such as the Yaris in its compact version and the Hilux, thus the main competitor will be ourselves,” he said.
He emphasized that the Free Trade Agreement between Japan and Mexico has resulted favorable, as in long term what resulted better is to locate manufacturing products in Mexico, therefore using alternative Free Trade Agreements usually is a good strategy.