Sonora – The Largest Automotive Cluster of the Asia-Pacific Region

Sonora – The Largest Automotive Cluster of the Asia-Pacific Region

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The Ford Stamping and Assembly Plant in Hermosillo is poised right at the technologic edge of the Automotive Industry.

Sonora is recognized worldwide for manufacturing high quality products based on medium and high-tech processes and highly competitive costs. This State is home to the largest automotive cluster of the Asia ā€“ Pacific Region in America.

The State Government, through the Economic Development Council for Sonora (EDCS), is working to further integrate the automotive sector. We are committed to increase the existing capacities through strategic investments in infrastructure in order to complement the value chain and promote the established base.

FordĀ“s Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly Plant (HSAP) has been successfully producing vehicles in Hermosillo for 27 years. The HSAP is recognized as one of the best in the world in terms of quality, productivity and satisfaction. Other elements that make the operation of this plant stand out from among its peers include safety equipment, lean manufacturing and the high quality of its labor force.

At this time, at FordĀ“s HSAP they produce two models in their different versions: Ford Fusion 2013 in its gas, hybrid and electric versions as well as Lincoln MKZ and Lincoln MKZ hybrid according to official information provided by Ford Mexico.

Fusion 2013 is a true reflection of the company's commitment to sustainability, because it uses renewable and recyclable materials in its production such as 16 oz. plastic bottles, soybeans and treated denim. Furthermore, currently all vehicles produced by Ford in North America are equipped with seats made out of soy foam, following up on the success of the 2007 Mustang which was the first car to include soy foam seats. The use of these alternative raw materials has allowed for the reduction of oil consumption during the production process in about 600,000 liters per year as well as a reduction in CO2 emissions by more than 2 million liters per year, as reported by Ford Mexico.

As mentioned above, the Lincoln MKZ model is also produced at Ford Hermosillo. Some of the innovations that have been incorporated to the 2013 model are a new center console design, providing the functionality and aesthetics of the car interior. This is possible thanks to the new Push- ButtonShift system that replaces the traditional button-shifter individual for park, neutral, reverse and also offers two driving modes: Drive and Sport.

The importance of the automotive industry in Sonora and its longlived success greatly relies on its Tier 1 suppliers. These companies are undertaking the most important role in the centralization of the supply chain, in terms of cost reduction and the concept of"just in time" in regional production. At present, 76% of the content integration of the production supply chain in Hermosillo is done locally and an estimated 53% of it is done within FordĀ“s Supplier Park.

According to official information provided by Ford Mexico to MexicoNOW, during 2012 their plant in Hermosillo produced a total of 305,280 vehicles including the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ in all versions.

Among the main automotive products manufactured in Sonora are seats, control panel, interior trim, electronic assemblies, exhaust systems, gasoline tanks, radiators, fascia and air conditioning systems. Also seat coils maneuvers, seat belt, door and window modules, plastic injection and engine assemblies are done locally.

The automotive industry of Sonora also features the production of automotive pistons, power train assembly, panels, electronic modules, automotive stamping and assembly, chassis and suspension systems, electric and electronic connectors and a variety of other 22 types of items.

As announced in 2012, Ford is currently investing US$1.3 billion in the HermosilloĀ“s Stamping and Assembly Plant for its Global Platform, home of the all-new Fusion and Lincoln MKZ for North American customers, helping answer growing demand for mid-size sedans.

Derived from this investment, the new Fusion is expected to deliver best-in-class fuel economy across customers' choice of gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles and the new Lincoln MKZ marks a key milestone in Lincoln's reinvention. Overall, it is evident that this investment is helping transform and improve not only the HSAP but also the environment in which it is taking place. At the completion of the platform 1,035 new direct jobs will have been created alongside over 7,000 indirect ones, not to mention the 1,500 temporary employees the project will require during the expansion phase.

In the new platform in Hermosillo Ford's commitment to the environment has been very tangible. Within the modifications and improvements made as means to reduce the environmental impact of the production process, the following stand out: 40% reduction in water usage, exclusive use of atmosphere friendly coolant, lighting equipment replacement resulting in the reduction of 1.5 tons of CO2 emissions and an increased use of recycled water by 100,000 mĀ³ per year.

The State of Sonora is pursuing an aggressive program to grow its industrial base and propel it into high-value manufacturing sectors. This effort is supported by many initiatives. Take the following for instance:

  • Strategic investments in infrastructure
  • On-going investment in vocational schools & training programs
  • Targeted incentives for strategic investment

Sonora offers an optimum environment for both short-term and long-term business goals:

  • A strategic access to the North American Automotive industry
  • Availability of talents and capabilities
  • A sustainable low-cost operating environment
  • Best in class providers to ease your implementation
"Mexico is very important in our global strategy" expressed executives from Ford. "We have a strong commitment to the country and we believe in Mexicans. In Mexico we have found a great potential and we are pleased to be part of the development and consolidation of the country. In the past 10 years, Ford has invested more than US$4 billion to increase production. Also in 2012 we invested US$1.3 billion to expand the capacity of the assembly plant in Hermosillo, Sonora".

Ford Mexico sent this message: "Our commitment to Mexico is also with its workforce. Since 2009, the engineering center, which has a global impact, has grown and it currently enrolls 900 engineers, number that we foresee will increase to at least 1,000 Mexican engineers by late 2013. As you can see, we are defi nitely here to stay.