MEXICALI – A Natural Choice for the Development of Aerospace Projects

Mexicali is the home of important successful industrial projects in Mexico due to its skilled workforce, extensive supply chain, strategic location, potential market, safe environment and first class infrastructure.

Francisco Perez Tejada Padilla is the Mayor of Mexicali and mentioned: “The Aerospace Industry currently represents a strategic sector for the city. We have more than 25 companies committed with Mexicali in terms of job generation, expansions and investments.”

Eugenio Lagarde is the President for the Industrial Development Commission of Mexicali (IDC). He had this to say to MexicoNOW: “In the next months and starting next year, we will have the arrival of several aerospace companies that have been working on their investment and expansion projects for the last years and because of the growing market that Mexicali´s industry offers, they have justi- fied their investment projects”.

Mexicali features, according to Francisco Perez Tejada Padilla, an Aerospace Cluster managed only by the companies.
“We have international firms,” he pointed out, “that have been operating in town for more than 30 years specifically in aerospace and that proves stability regarding labor, productivity and an integrated business community.”

GKN just announced a new division for composites that will make parts for the “BlackHawk” Sikorsky helicopters. With the acquisition of Goodrich, Mexicali now has a division of “United Technologies Corporation” that positions the City globally.
Ardy Najafian is the Mexicali Plant General Manager for GKN Aerospace. He is also the President of the Aerospace Cluster of Mexicali. He was interviewed by MexicoNOW and told us: “The cluster organization was designed in such a way as to maximize leverage involving not only the aerospace companies, but also all other supporting elements such as local universities, vocational schools, the local support industry, civil industrial organizations and finally, the offices of the city, state and federal government.”

The strategic plan for the cluster, explained Mr. Najafian, was developed by selected aerospace companies in Mexicali known as the Guidance Management Team (GMT). The GMT is currently made up of five companies (Gulfstream, UTC, GKN, Honeywell and LMI). They represent the entire pool of more than 24 companies.

“We have,” assured Najafian, “identi- fied three main areas called the pillars of the cluster. These are targeted to deliver the objectives of the cluster in a way to strengthen the availability of well-trained human resources. This is done by developing programs that constantly produce quali- fied people in order to satisfy the market demand for sustainability and future growth. Another aim is to develop local suppliers by facilitating foreign direct investment and expertise. Along with this we want to work with existing smaller local companies who also aspire to become aerospace suppliers.

Finally, we want to be able to leverage adequate state and federal funds to support the projects previously mentioned.”

Mexicali recently had an important delegation headed by the City Mayor attending the Farnborough International Airshow where important achievements were reached. Important expansions were announced at the show, among them GKN, and a new special processes supplier also confirmed its investment.

Eugenio Lagarde also mentioned: “Mexicali, due to its advantages, is now gaining position as a City for conventions and trade shows. This year we had an important supplier expo in February called “Mexicali Supply Expo”, which mainly focuses on the industry demands for attracting potential suppliers targeted to our Cities main vocations such as: aerospace, medical devices, electronics, automotive, renewable energies among others. “This was our second edition which grew from the previous year with participation of more than 130 suppliers (www.mexicalisupply.com). In November the City hosts the “Baja Aerospace Supplier Forum”, an event coordinated between the State and City Governments, Private and State Universities and most importantly, the aerospace companies.

In conclusion, Francisco Perez Tejada Padilla, Mayor of Mexicali makes this final observation: “We have a very aggressive agenda in terms of promoting and retaining investment and job generation in Mexicali. The IDC has a number of identified prospects that are attracted to our City because of the potential market, safe environment and most importantly, high skilled labor. This year Mexicali is hosting the “Baja’s International Aerospace Supplier Forum 2013″. The event will take place on the 15th of November”.
(www.bajaaerospaceforum.com). The event will bring together a large number of national and international aerospace companies. It includes industrial tours to some of the top companies, conferences with global V.P.’s, workshops and B2B meetings. It´s main objective is to strengthen the supply chain of the region”.