Mexico facts of the day

by on November 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm in Current Affairs | Permalink

Six years ago, Mexico was the world’s ninth largest exporter of cars. Today the country is ranked fourth—behind Germany, Japan and South Korea—with exports expected to total more than 2.14 million vehicles this year.

One in 10 cars sold last year in the U.S. was made in Mexico. Next year, every new taxi in New York’s fleet—made by Nissan Motor Co.  —will carry the “Hecho en Mexico” label. Mexico is now exporting vehicles to China, and even helped Japan keep up with orders after last year’s tsunami.

Mexico’s Economy Minister Bruno Ferrari boasted that a batch of new factories planned by car makers will help Mexico surpass South Korea in a few years.

Here is more.

derek November 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm

A prediction I made in the late 80′s when British Columbia was trying to wean itself from resource development and position themselves as a tourist destination was that our children would be selling hot dogs to Mexican tourists. I may yet be right.

david November 21, 2012 at 6:37 pm

lol, a lot of wealthy mexicans love japadogs, a lot of kids love setting up boutique eateries.

axa November 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm

If you couple this with:

a) While production is disrupted cause due to strikes in Europe…….Audi, Ford, Nissan & Honda started building new factories that are operational for 2014-2015.
b) the “watered-down” labor reform in Mexico.
c) pot legalization for recreational use in Colorado & Washington.

It’s really really sweet news for Mexico and for the US (less pesky illegal alliens).

NAME REDACTED November 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Fewer illegal aliens is bad news for the US.

Vernunft November 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Indeed. Lawns won’t mow themselves for a shiny penny a day.

maguro November 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm

And no more cheap chalupas. The horror!

john personna November 20, 2012 at 5:16 pm

When the alternatives are a laborer or a lawn-bot, which is the economic win?

john personna November 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm

The mind that thinks immigrants “take” jobs here simply cannot comprehend that they can take jobs from Mexico.

Jermaine November 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm

The last 30 years there have been periodic bursts of optimism regarding Mexico. However, for decades Mexico has basically been a large mediocre middle-income country. Expect that to continue for the foreseeable future.

Brian November 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm

As a sometimes resident of Mexico and of the USA, I can report that Mexican quality of life has been improving greatly in the past 30 years. Said improvements have come at a much higher relative rate than improvements in the USA and the income gap between the two has been closing.

I’m not the only one who noticed. Net migration between the USA and Mexico has been in the southerly direction lately. Never fear; the USA is steadily importing what looks like half the population of El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Colombia to do dirty work for below-subsistance wages.

Bender Bending Rodriguez November 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Brian’s got it right. Most of the “they’re takin’ our jobs” set still believes that migrants are coming from Mexico. What’s really happening is that they’re coming _through_ Mexico.

Pincher Martin November 21, 2012 at 12:45 am

Brian has it wrong. He’s breathlessly reporting the Pew study released earlier this year which said that net migration “may have reversed” towards Mexico. Mexicans are still coming, but a lot are now going home, too.

The conclusion by Pew was tentative and and needs to be qualified. As Mark Krikorian has pointed out, the study included the U.S.-born children of Mexican citizens as returning migrants. These people are American citizens and can return any time they choose to.

As for life in Mexico improving greatly over the last thirty years, how does that make the country any more remarkable than six or seven dozen other countries? What’s really remarkable is that Mexico can have existed next to the the wealthiest nation on the planet with a favored trade status and other commercial agreements for much of the last thirty years, and yet it’s still no wealthier than Chile or Malaysia and significantly less wealthy than Taiwan or South Korea.

Randy McDonald November 23, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Nearly all low- and middle-income countries bordering rich regions of the world are poorer than Japan-bordering Taiwan or South Korea. Poland is the biggest success story, followed by Mexico, and then by the rest.

Pincher Martin November 24, 2012 at 1:57 am

Randy,

“Nearly all low- and middle-income countries bordering rich regions of the world are poorer than Japan-bordering Taiwan or South Korea.”

So? The point of my comparison was to highlight Mexico’s rather uninspiring performance vis a vis the rest of the successfully developing world over the last thirty years, not point out how well Taiwan and South Korea have done – other than to say that both countries have done considerably better than Mexico.

“Poland is the biggest success story, followed by Mexico, and then by the rest.”

It’s not even close. And considering Mexico’s geographical, commercial, and institutional advantages, it probably should have performed far better than any of the other developing states.

Pincher Martin November 24, 2012 at 2:13 am

How many other developing countries have had a long border alongside the largest unified economy in the world for the past thirty years?

How many other developing countries over the last thirty years have had the option of transferring a huge proportion of its population over such a border – perhaps as much as ten to twenty percent – to find good-paying work and send back remittances?

How many other developing countries have had a major free trade and investment agreement for twenty of the last thirty years which essentially removed any major impediments to trade and investment?

How many other countries have had the best institutional and political model to follow for the last century and a half just right next door?

When was the last time Mexico was genuinely threatened with war by the U.S.? Ninety years ago? (And in North America, if the U.S. isn’t a military threat, then Mexico has no serious military threats outside of its borders.)

*****

Yet despite all these advantages, Mexico’s economic success doesn’t really stand out from, say, a country like that of Malaysia, which had none of Mexico’s advantages.

Peter Schaeffer November 22, 2012 at 1:24 am

Alas, the truth is not charitable for those who see the world through blinkers.

Mexico’s economic performance is not converging on the U.S. The per-capita GDP ratio hasn’t changed in 60 years. See http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/PGD2USMXA621NUPN?cid=33109

By contrast, South Korea started out much poorer than Mexico and is now much richer. South Korea is converging on the U.S. See http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/PGD2USKRA621NUPN?cid=33109

Andreas Moser November 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Some of my favourite cigars come from Mexico.

Eric S. November 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm

That Mexico has someone named Bruno Ferrari in their government is pretty swell.

Henry November 21, 2012 at 11:48 am

You’d certainly expect a minister called Ferrari to be attentive of the automotive industry.

Becon November 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Good for them. I hope for continued growth and success in Mexico.

genauer November 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm

40 $ / day = 5 $ / hour, still much below the 15$ of US UAW deals

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