2021 is already here and at this very moment, the whole world still faces a big common challenge. At the same time, amidst the crisis, people still have to live their lives, with precaution and making sure they keep themselves safe.
As life goes on, first need products and other commodities are still a part of people’s lives. Concrete sectors of the manufacturing industry are indeed enduring adverse circumstances, but for everyone’s best interests, manufacturing must keep on and has kept on.
So, let’s see what the Mexican manufacturing industry has to offer, where it stands right now and why it is an excellent option for national and international business. It’s no coincidence that more companies have found in this country a good place to manufacture their merchandise.
There are major manufacturing industries that have bloomed within the last decades and especially during the transition to the 21st century. Let us explain which are these industries and why that has happened.
The plastic industry in Mexico has a large market size since it’s one of the biggest producers and consumers in the world with its population growing towards 130 million inhabitants, with thousands of plastic manufacturers established in the country.
So, let’s see the overview of the Mexican manufacturing sector, and then we’ll present some interesting facts about the main industries that are part of it, as well as a reminder of the benefits that come with manufacturing in Mexico.
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Mexican manufacturing overview
Being one of the ten countries that manufacture the most in the world (1), Mexican manufacturing has been growing for some decades because of the many advantages it has developed and its increased economy.
As for other industrialized countries, Mexico offers essentially two very great advantages: highly trained workers and a large amount of workforce (1). Manufacturers from all over the world have established in Mexico due to its competitiveness.
Concerning the US companies, it’s no surprise many of them have decided to move their manufacturing plants to Mexico or to order items from Mexican manufacturing companies: the lower costs and the short distance act in favor of the Latin American nation.
The proximity of Mexico and the US is not an exclusive benefit for the North American companies. Businesses from other world latitudes may find what a good investment is to produce in Mexico and then distribute to the northern neighbor and even Latin America.
Manufacturing in Mexico has been possible thanks to government participation too. Mexico is known for having many trade agreements with different world regions and to different objectives (2).
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the successor of the NAFTA agreement, guarantees mostly free trade and beneficial guidelines for the three North American countries: the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Besides, Mexico has over 40 other trade agreements (2).
For 20 years, Mexico has been the manufacturing destiny for more than 13,000 international companies (3).
The boom of Mexican manufacturing has propelled supply chain partners to establish in the country. This has contributed to enlarge and strengthen the already solid infrastructure. The reliability of services, like electricity, and a well-connected transportation network (rail, highway systems, and harbors) make Mexico a solid option for businesses (2).
Mexican manufacturing can be divided into two major country regions: the border and central Mexico. Tijuana, Mexicali, and Ciudad Juárez stand out as the main manufacturing cities of the border region, which spark a rapid delivery and distribution to the US and Canada. Medical devices, aerospatial parts, and electronics are some of the most popular industries in this region (4).
As for central Mexico, the main manufacturing states are Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Aguascalientes, and Querétaro. Here, the aerospace industry, as well as the automotive, have experienced a large market growth in the last decade and there has been a billionaire investment to establish new automotive manufacturing plants (4).
Top aerospace and automotive companies have established manufacturing facilities all over Mexico: Airbus, Bombardier, Safran, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Volkswagen, Ford, Audi, Chrysler, and General Motors, to name a few.
Of course, other cities host important manufacturing centers, for example, Monterrey, Saltillo, and the Sonora state cities of Hermosillo, Guaymas, and Empalme. All of them are located in the north of the country, close to the US-Mexico border (3) (4).
Not only Mexico has trade agreements, but the government welcomes foreign investors and gives them special conditions to make business. In Martin’s, we have the best solutions for your plastic manufacturing projects. Feel free to reach us and start your new venture with us.
Main competitor: China
The biggest manufacturer in the world is China, with around 28% of the global manufacturing output in 2018 (5). That being said, it’s no secret that China is the biggest competitor to virtually every country in the world with a big manufacturing industry.
Even if the United States stands in second place, a lot of US companies choose to get their products or pieces manufactured and assembled overseas. China was a good option until the two countries became involved in a trade war during the Trump administration.
Joe Biden, the president-elect of the United States, has stated that it is not a priority to his administration to change the course of the ongoing trade war with China (6).
The US-China trade war has focused on two main topics: tariffs on imported goods and intellectual property. The US has imposed, since 2018, tariffs on more than 360 billion USD of Chinese products and China has responded with tariffs on more than 110 billion USD of US goods (7).
The aggressive round of tariffs was started by the US government, which accused China of unfair trade practices and intellectual theft, with up to 15% duty, whereas Beijing has reacted with duties from 5 to 25% (7).
This tension between the two economic giants is expected to endure as it doesn’t have an expiring date. The upcoming president Joe Biden has told the press that his administration has no intention of immediately reversing the tariffs (6).
Fortunately, this tension is not a problem with the southern neighbor: Mexico and the US have been, for most of the time, on good terms regarding their trade relationship for the last decades.
Besides, Mexican manufacturing represents more advantages than China with respect to a skilled workforce, wages, and shipping costs (8). That’s why Mexico is a good alternative to the Asian giant.
If you’re interested in learning more about why Mexico is a good alternative to China,
we recommend our Mexico vs China manufacturing guide.
Top manufacturing industries in Mexico
Mexican manufacturing comprises a very diverse set of industries that produce pieces and items for, most commonly, international distribution. The major industries that manufacture in Mexico are (3) (9):
1. Aerospace: In 2009, 112 aerospace companies were manufacturing in Mexico, but by 2017 the number had reached 330 companies. Aerospace manufacturing comprises almost half of the foreign direct investment in the country.
2. Automotive: with almost a century of experience in Mexico, this industry has entered the country into the top 5 auto parts exporters in the world. Besides, Mexico holds a top 10 position as an automobile producer, with nearly 4 million units produced annually. An estimated 80% of this production is exported.
3. Medical devices: over the last years, more than 600 medical device manufacturers have established operations in Mexico, with exports worth around 9 billion USD. Baja California is the Mexican state that produces the most medical devices, which are exported largely to the United States and other countries.
4. Apparel and textile manufacturing industry: together, these two industries account for nearly 4% of the Mexican gross domestic product (GDP). Textile manufacturers have been expanding and modernizing their facilities to reach automotive and industrial fabrics.
5. Consumer product manufacturing: this comprises mostly electronic devices and pieces, a type of goods that is on the rise due to the available specialized workforce (engineers and designers). Furniture and household appliances are examples of big-scale manufactured products in the country.
Of course, Mexican manufacturing doesn’t limit itself to these industries, but these are the most important in economic terms. The manufacturing sector has seen a rise, besides the benefits we’ve explained above, because of government programs to attract foreign investment.
Many international companies have manufacturing plants in Mexico, such as General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Siemens, Philips, Coca-Cola, LG, and Motorola (8).
Another big manufacturing industry in Mexico lies in plastic production. We’re going to address this topic next to highlight the pros this industry has to offer to international manufacturers.
In Martin’s, we have 40 years of experience within the plastics industry. As manufacturers, we take care of every detail in production and offer excellent customer service. No doubt our hard work and our clients’ trust have let us grow. Contact us and let’s get to work on your plastic goods.
The plastic industry in Mexico
In 2019, plastic goods held the 6th position within Mexico’s top 10 exports, worth almost 11 billion USD, which represented around 2.3% of the total exports (10). The country, besides, is one of the largest plastic consumers in the world (11).
In the industries mentioned above, all of them, in the end, use plastic pieces too for their products and their production. Mexican plastic manufacturers benefit from this and from the fact that plastic goods are consumed all over the country.
The growth of different manufacturing industries in Mexico means that the demand for plastic increases too, especially within automotive and medical devices companies.
With a market size worth around 43 billion USD, the Mexican plastics industry has grown in the last years and more than 4,000 plastic manufacturers operate throughout the country. Plastic production concentrates, nevertheless, in the states of Jalisco, Nuevo León, Puebla, Querétaro, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, and the capital: Mexico City (11).
In Martin’s, we’re proud of the growth that has let us expand our production and go from the household typical products to a more diverse set of plastic products, which form a group in our branches: toys and games, houseware and drinkware, and promotional products.
We’d like you to know how we work to manufacture the best plastic products.
Don’t miss our post about promotional product design.
We’re also sure that if we are one of the largest plastic manufacturers in Mexico, it is because our clients trust us and we’ve delivered great quality products to them and the final consumers.
One of the most critical features that tell us apart from the competitors is that in Martin’s, our creative team designs from scratch incredible items that combine attention to detail, functionality, and good aesthetics that comply with our customers’ needs.
We’re always looking for new clients and the latest trends to offer the best experience, not only to our immediate customers but also to the final users. That’s why many companies, large and small, international and local, have trusted us.
If you want to get familiar with our work, our updated catalog is available here. Check out for yourself the variety of products we can manufacture, and be sure that you will get the best attention.
What about the future of Mexican manufacturing?
It’s no doubt that 2020 has been a rough year for virtually all the countries in the world. Mexican manufacturing was hardly hit with May being the worst month since production fell 37% compared to the same period in 2019 (12).
However, economic forecasts are optimistic and suggest that the Mexican manufacturing sector may recover through 2021 and reach 2.20 positive percent, and 3% in 2023 (12). These figures certainly bring hope to our industry.
Regarding more plastic-oriented manufacturing, bioplastic products and biodegradable materials have been growing in recent years so it’s expected that innovation regarding greener raw materials will continue to expand, as the world keeps perceiving plastics as essential for our daily life.
In Martin’s, we are aware of the plastics industry and its place within the Mexican manufacturing sector. Our certifications, production standards, and quality controls speak for our commitment to bring the best of plastics. Don't forget to leave a message and we'll get in touch, we’re ready to meet your expectations as a big-scale manufacturer.
 Tetakawi Why Manufacture in Mexico? Tetakawi, n.d. Accessed 14 Jan 2021.
 NAPS. Why Manufacture in Mexico? Learn Why Mexico Manufacturing is Booming. NAPS, n.d. Accessed 14 Jan 2021.
 Tetakawi. Manufacturing in Mexico: Everything You Need To Know. Tetakawi, 2020. Accessed 14 Jan 2021.
 Scott Stanley (reviewer). Manufacturing in Mexico. NAPS, n.d. Accessed 14 Jan 2021.
 Felix Richter. These are the top 10 manufacturing countries in the world. World Economic Forum, 2020. Accessed 14 Jan 2021.
 Cissy Zhou. US-China relations: Joe Biden says trade war tariffs to remain in place for now as alliance building comes first. US-China Relations, 2020. Accessed 14 Jan 2021.
 BBC. A quick guide to the US-China trade war. BBC News, 2020. Accessed 14 Jan 2021.
 Scott Stanley (reviewer). Mexico vs. China Manufacturing: How the Two Countries Compare. NAPS, n.d. Accessed 14 Jan 2021.
 NAPS. Mexico Manufacturing Industries. NAPS, 2020. Accessed 14 Jan 2021.
 Daniel Workman. Mexico’s Top 10 Exports. World’s Top Exports, n.d. Accessed 14 Jan 2021.
 Tetakawi. Opportunities in Mexico’s Plastic Manufacturing Industry. Tetakawi, 2020. Accessed 14 Jan 2021.
 Trading Economics. Mexico Manufacturing Production. Trading Economics, 2020. Accessed 14 Jan 2021.