Two Mexico’s top auto industry officials said they were unaware of any canceled investments in Mexico or of any companies that might have decided to leave the country.
Eduardo Solis, head of Mexico's auto industry group AMIA, and Oscar Albin, head of the auto parts group INA agreed that, of those plans that have already been set, fortunately nobody has delayed or canceled them.
“We have not seen any curb on the arrival of new auto parts makers or on the expansion of plants already here in Mexico”, Albin added.
President-elect Donald Trump stirred fears of a loss of investment during the presidential campaign by threatening to tear up a joint trade deal and impose tariffs on Mexican-made goods, complaining the country was “killing” the United States on trade.
The New York real estate tycoon condemned U.S. manufacturers for investing in Mexico during the campaign, accusing companies like Ford and General Motors of being unpatriotic.
After a US$ 20 million investment, South Korea-based Hanwha Advanced Materials opened a new plant at Monterrey Technology Park, located in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, where 200 workers will manufacture auto parts and lightweight materials.
Hanwha has already a contract to supply bumper beams and underbody shields for Kia’s assembly plant located a few miles away, but it’s eager to find new customers, company officials said at the opening ceremony.
The materials maker has been supplying its lightweight car parts to major global automakers in other markets, including General Motors, Ford, Audi, BMW and Volkswagen, as well as Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors.
Two El Paso, Texas, manufacturing business received more than half a million dollars in skills development grants from the Texas Workforce Commission in recent days during an event at El Paso Community College.
According to a press release, Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar presented checks of US$ 216,523 to injection molder Plastic Molding Technology Inc. (PMT) and US$ 335,925 to health care industry supplier Becton, Dickinson and Company.
Eighty-one of Plastic Molding Technology’s 98 full-time employees are enrolled in the new training with tailored curricula and industry-specific college-faculty-taught courses ranging from injection molding and lean manufacturing to supervisory techniques and software skills. The training began August 31 and will extend through August 2017.
“Manufacturing as a whole has struggled in recent years with a prevalent skills gap, especially in segments that require highly skilled labor like the plastics industry,” PMT CEO Charles A. Sholtis said in a statement. “PMT is investing in the future and our people with the receipt of this grant.”
PMT manufactures precision-engineered plastic components with an annual volume of 150 million parts and is positioned to serve maquiladora plants in Mexico. The company recently added a 500-ton molding machine, 5-ton crane system, and a 3-D printing area to its facility.
During the event, college President William Serrata and El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser underscored the importance of helping companies such as PMT in developing their workforces to boost American manufacturing competitiveness.
Mary Sholtis, PMT training and development coordinator, worked closely with college staff to develop a curriculum to specifically address PMT’s training needs. PMT pays employees for time spent in the classroom and will provide incremental pay increases for those who complete the program. In addition, an employee can earn continuing education credits.
The Becton, Dickinson and Company medical technology facility in El Paso, which makes infusion pumps and automated dispensing systems, employs 700 and was part of the firm’s March 2015 acquisition of CareFusion Corp. for US$ 12.54 billion. The company has invested more than US$ 30 million in its El Paso operations and is based in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.
In September 2015, the workforce commission announced the availability of US$ 48.5 million in job-training funding. Since the program’s inception in 1996, the commission says the grants have created or upgraded more than 329,000 jobs and have assisted more than 4,000 employers.
Indiana agreed to give United Technologies $7 million in financial incentives over a decade to persuade the industrial giant to keep 1,000 jobs from its subsidiary Carrier in the state, Carrier announced.
The United Technologies' heating and air conditioning unit business had planned to close a furnace plant in the state and move it to Monterrey, Mexico. Carrier will invest about $16 million in Indiana to keep operations there.
In a statement, Carrier said the financial incentives are "contingent upon factors including employment, job retention and capital investment."
The company said that state "incentives" were "an important consideration" for keeping the positions in Indiana. Carrier is still moving 600 jobs from the plant to Mexico, and closing another plant in Indiana that would move 700 jobs, according to the The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the tax breaks.
The company reached this week a deal with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence to keep the jobs in the state, after announcing earlier this year it would shut down a plant in Indianapolis and move manufacturing to Mexico.
Pence is the outgoing Indiana governor.
The deal would cover 800 workers from the Indianapolis furnace plant and an additional 300 research and headquarters positions that weren't planned to go to Mexico, according to the Journal.
On the campaign trail, Trump frequently rallied against the move and pledged to force Carrier to keeps its jobs in the U.S.