The first 122 companies that supplied the big plants from the automotive sector were settled as of 1968 in San Luis Potosi.  But it was until 2006, with the arrival of General Motors (GM,) with an investment of 1,000 million dollars and the generation of 20 thousand direct and indirect jobs, when the State consolidated as a world pole of the automotive industry.


Connectivity with different cities; the more than 5.204.92 kilometers of state highways, the 1,22 kilometers of railroad ways that allow access to the United States, the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, are some of the advantages that have been the big factor for European industries, American and Asian to choose San Luis Potosi.


“In the last 12 years, we have been growing above the national average, only in the last 3 years we are above almost 4 % of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, and we are the fifth city with greater economy in the country with 4.2 %” said Gustavo Puente, secretary of Economic Development (SEDECO, by its Spanish initials.)


In 2014, with the announcement of the arrival of BMW, and an investment of 1,000 million dollars, the entity had a curve of greater impact, since the industry started to promote and strength with the arrival of 200 companies of the automotive sector.


“In 38 years, from 1968 to 2006, almost 120 companies from the automotive sector were settled, it was a slow growth, because all that time had to pass by in order to add 101 companies in 2006, and there the industry development started in San Luis Potosi, since 4 years had to pass for 99 more companies to arrive,” said Gustavo Puente.


Therefore in export issues, San Luis Potosi has increased the monetary amount, in 2016 an amount of 8,534 million dollars was fulfilled, and so far this year the figure of 9,823 million dollars was reached.


“The first challenges that we have is to establish and fulfill everything we have until today and promote new areas, continue with this attraction and say that San Luis is ready to receive new companies, we have too much potential in this metropolitan belt and the remaining part of the State,” the head of SEDECO ended.




The director of the Automotive Cluster in San Luis Potosi, Hector Soto, said that it is important to develop the supply chains to have more competitiveness in the State as well as in the country.  “When we buy components here in the country, manufactured by Mexican companies, we are contributing to increase of the GDP,” he said.


Within the fundamental requirements mentioned by Hector Soto to be part of the assemblers’ supply are:

1.    Cost, quality and delivery

2.    Certifications inherent to the automotive sector such as the IATF 16949:2016 or the VDA 6.3, and some other kind of certifications such as the Standard ISO 31000 orientated to risk management, or environmental certifications such as the ISO 1400

3.    Awards or distinctions from companies such as the National or State Quality Award, among others

4.    Human capital


In BMW Group chose suppliers according to 4 pillars: Innovation, Cost, Flexibility and Quality.  In addition that high quality is a requirement for all companies working as company commercial partners.




The automotive boom started in Aguascalientes in 1982, when the first Nissan plant was installed (the second one nationally,) since then more than 120 companies dedicated to form the supply chain of the Japanese assembler.


It is estimated that the corporate includes 12 thousand direct jobs and more than 30 thousand indirect jobs, which is an important concern for the State economy.


This automotive development, which currently observes three assemblers installed in the entity, has enable local companies the opportunity of join the supply chain and growth inside the sector.


Cuitlahuac Perez, president of Grupo Maen known as the Automotive Cluster Aguascalientes, said that as of 2006 the first growth period of the automotive industry started in Aguascalientes.


“All the economic sectors have stages of dynamism, stability and sometimes, of stagnation,” said the president of Grupo Maen, by referring to the automotive boom in the State.  “There are still many opportunities to join the supply chain of assembly companies, but this will end when the COMPAS assembly reaches its stability,” he added.


Likewise, the businessmen explained that in these 30 years of automotive development, it is estimated that about 20 Mexican companies have joined the automotive supply chain, this without observing the companies dedicated to provide services to the assemblers.


The current strategy, of local companies as the State government, is to develop the SMEs for them to join the supply chain and, also incur in new sectors currently in development inside the entity.


Currently, the Center for Research in Mathematics and the Center of Advanced Technology are developing about 40 companies in order for them to join such chain.


This diversification agrees with the results obtained from a study fulfilled by the State Government, Citibanamex and the Center for Research and Teaching on Economics, who concluded that there are seven branches to be developed in the State for the growth and economic stability, where the automotive sector highlights.




“The main thing is for you to have the required infrastructure…and the most important thing is that you are a healthy company” said Cuitlahuac Perez by referring to the necessary requirements to join the supply chain of the automotive industry, which are:


1.    Having the required infrastructure for the process you will be developing


Having a quality certification, or at least that processes are certified by customers, it is necessary to guarantee that processes are stable and reliable

3.    Having financial capability (whether a financing system, own or grouped) to face the investments required at the moment of facing a project.

4.   Being a healthy company in fiscal, finance and labor matters, this because contracts with suppliers are usually of 5 years.


Meanwhile, in order to be a Nissan supplier, Luis Navarro, in charge of the M&E purchase area, said that the most important thing to integrate a micro, small and medium company to their suppliers list is for it to be a formal and solvent company, in addition, the corporate supply needs are grouped in two main purchase areas: Raw Materials, is the division of the purchase of original equipment that makes up the vehicle, such as muffler, tires, wheels, among others and its headquarters is in Toluca.  The second is Vendor Tooling, that has to do with the acquisition of tools and Service & Support, which is where most of local companies have more opportunities.