Restructuring and going out of the crisis: the automotive industry in the NAFTA Region (2007 - 2015)

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Mexico (2016)


Automotive industry; NAFTA; Regional development; Product portfolios.


Automotive production-relocation in the NAFTA region after the 2008 crisis is analyzed at different levels, including automobile unit-production changes in the regions within a country, at the assembly-plant level and in the product portfolio. We compare production for two different years: 2007 when the crisis began and 2015 when the consequences could be observed. Based on information relative to where plants are located, year of establishment, firm ownership and production, we defined five regions: two in the US two in Mexico and one in Canada. These regions were classified as “traditional” and “emergent” spaces. Results show that the age of each assembly plant was not a factor for restructuring. Between 2007 and 2011 traditional spaces in Mexico were the most favored but four years later the emerging region grew (44.26%) while the traditional one only grew (29.71%). Most of this growing was concentrated in Guanajuato, a state with five assembly plants. At the same time the traditional spaces in the USA were adversely affected but six years later it recovered its production to the same levels it had in the beginning of the crisis and the emerging zone grew more (10.51%) than the traditional one (-5.02). Canada decreased production by 400 thousand automobile units but still remained as the country with the best Economies of Scale and manufacturing cars with high added value. Canada was the only country that launched more new models than it stopped manufacturing. Canada decreased its production by 7%, closing the Ford Plant in St Thomas and opening the Toyota plant in Woodstock. It also stays as the country with the highest average production per plant. Finally, in these years the Nafta region shows a full recovery of production and average yield per plant.
Acknowledgment: Project IN302515 DEGAPA/PAPIIT/UNAM

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