MEXICONOW Staff Interview
For Bombardier’s aerospace activities, Mexico has emerged as a critical component for its manufacturing and marketing growth.
Manufacturing operations in Queretaro – not even a decade in existence – now provide components or systems for Bombardier aircraft globally.
Alfredo Nolasco, chief country representative for Bombardier, Mexico, reiterated the importance of the industry’s longer range – nearly 20 years out – planning horizon in line with product demand. He said the industry must work as a team with the government to align the economics for competitiveness.
How would you rate Mexico in the sense of a growth economy versus a mature economy?
Mexico as a market is an interesting place to be. Our activity in Mexico is more directed toward manufacturing. However for the market, to give you an idea, the Latin American market is going to grow relatively for business aircraft globally. I am not speaking about Bombardier but all business jets; it is going to be growing around the same rate as China.
We have a sales perspective of our planes or the sales of planes globally in the Latin American region of around 1,300 planes for 2032. I can tell you that these figures make us believe that Mexico and the rest of Latin America are going to be important markets for our business planes as well as for the commercial planes.
How does Mexico fit in Bombardier’s manufacturing?
Mexico is a key factor for the growth and development of Bombardier. The first manufacturing unit that was completely designed by Bombardier was in Querétaro in 2005, and today from that facility we provide pieces for all the planes of Bombardier in the world.
We have an excellent center for harnesses, electrical wiring, in our Querétaro site. We produce flight controls, we produce the tails of our main product the Global 5000 and 6000, and we will produce the 7000 and 8000 in the near future. We provide all the fuselage of composite material, which is unique in the world for the Lear 85.
How would you categorize all this activity in terms of preparing or positioning Bombardier for the next aircraft industry “up turn?” How does Mexico position you to where you really need to be?
The aerospace sector has to have long sights into the future. That is why we are aiming at 2032 as our target in our strategy plan. Mexico is fundamental because of the quality of the products that we are producing in Mexico, because of the engagement of the labor that we have in Mexico, and because of that we see that Mexico has provided an added value to all the chain of Bombardier.
From the Mexico perspective we see that Bombardier has been an engine of group for the sectors, for the clusters all around the country, especially in the Querétaro area but we look forward to further developing the supply chain and provision the rest of the aerospace industry.
If a company is thinking of becoming a supplier to Bombardier in Mexico -- maybe a Tier Two or maybe a Tier Three -- where does its thinking need to be in 2014 to cash in all these great things to which you point?
Bombardier is encouraging the development of the supply chain in Mexico. We are working together with the private sector, with FEMIA for example, that has a very important role in this, as well as for the Mexican government. We have to see this as a Team Mexico issue because we are not talking about volume in the aerospace industry. We are speaking about creating volume and adding value.
With our competitors in the aircraft industry we are going to be out there competing with them but for building planes. We have to build our stuff together and we have to work. There are two main issues we have to see. What we do have to develop is the supply chain in Mexico for the product-related issues and the non-product related issues.
Everybody is crazy about providing bolts, nuts and other parts of the plane, the things that fly. But many times we neglect the part of the non-product related issues for example, tooling that is basic and all the builders or the OEMs or the Tier Ones are going to need to develop further their programs. This is important and this is something that we will encourage to continue bringing down to Mexico.
What does the smaller supplier need to understand better to make you, Bombardier all the more competitive?
We have a very strict way of engaging our partners. We do encourage people to come and visit our site at www.bombardier.com
and find in the supply chain issues all the conditions that we have set up. In Mexico we have to continue working together with the government, with other industries in order that Mexico can further develop the certification of the providers so that we can continue growing.
This is an issue that we foresee for NAFTA 2.0, which is certification, quality controls and other issues that we have to provide so that the Mexican industry and small and medium enterprises can actually contribute to the growth of the aerospace industry.