Mexico is the second largest economy in the metalworking sector in Latin America and world´s twelveth place in FDI reception.
Last year (2013), Mexico received a record $35 billion in FDI of which, almost 74% was in the manufacturing sector. An average of 300 new companies are established every year and 75% of these require some kind of metalworking service and parts.
According to the minister of Economy, the metalworking sector represents 14% of the gross domestic product. Despite the downturn in production of various other sectors during the period 2008-2011, fabrication of metal parts and machine tool manufacturing drive the industrial sector with an increasing growth of 7.6% and 6.3% respectively. The major segments in this sector are: Automotive, Aeronautic, Appliances, Mold and Tool making.
A large variety of machines for metalworking processes are in great demand these days. The establishment of the aeronautic and aerospace industries with their requirement for tighter spec components is persuading most small and medium size manufacturers to purchase new machinery or any process equipment with capabilities to produce within those new tolerances. There still remains a good number of small and medium size industries which are operating with old macinery, an opportunity for other U. S. technical services.
The Mexican authorities are pushing new manufacturing establishments to the integration of at least 20% of national materials through domestic manufacturers, in spite of that, 80% still comes from other countries.
Products and services from the US are nearly 65% of Mexico imports. The metalworking industry offers numerous opportunities for the US exporter, going from laser cutting machines, multi axis machine centers, sheet leveling machines, steel polishing, de-burring, metal preparation, and others.
In the side of secondary metal products, Mexico is demanding from specialized metals through very conventional consumables such as: engineered metals for mold and tool makers, welding supplies, measuring equipment, abrasives and corrosion control products, engineering software, tools and consumables. Those companies operating with used or refurbished CNC equipment are in constant search of specialized technical support.
Opinion and Next Steps
This segment is very competitive, U. S. exporters should consider choosing differentiated products for their first sales attempts into Mexico. Direct sales to the end users are possible through authorized custom brokers. Consider that Mexican buyers are to pay 16% sales tax when importing goods in addition to the corresponding import tariff (for non NAFTA products).
U. S. exporters are encouraged to rely on a local representative; your local Export Assistance Center should be able to help you locate the best one for you.
In fact, the U. S. Commercial Service provides the Gold Key Service. This is the most popular tool exporters are using to find their way into the Mexican market.
With a Gold Key Service, companies get a dedicated commercial specialist working on:
a) identifyng product or service potential in the various regions of the country
b)contacting potential buyers or end users, distributors or agents, depending in your particular interest or need,
c) preparaing matchmaking meetings with pre-screened contacts for you to meet in one day.
This has proven being an effective formula for many exporters and they have dozens of success stories to share from people who have come back from their trips with a hanfull of orders.
All U. S. Commercial Service products are described at http://www.export.gov