The newest figures from the Mexican auto industry association, AMIA, point to continued powerful growth not only from the car makers themselves but from associated industries.
Mexico has almost doubled car production since 2009, and will be producing 4m cars by 2017, up from 2.9m last year, AMIA reckons, thanks to new investments from Nissan, Audi, Mazda and Honda. Read more
The auto industry’s love affair with Mexico seems to know no bounds these days.
Just days after Japan’s Honda announced the creation of a $470m transmission plant in the country, it was the turn of Audi to laid the foundation stone for a $1.3bn assembly plant in Mexico over the weekend.
Aimed at challenging BMW’s global leadership of the international luxury SUV market, the new factory is expected to come on stream in 2016, building 150,000 Q5 SUVs a year. Read more
The central Mexican region known as El Bajío is known as the nation’s colonial heartland, its grain belt and a hotbed of fervent Catholicism. Now Japanese auto production can be added to the list.
While Barack Obama and the Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto were talking in Mexico City about jobs, Honda was announcing the creation of 1,500 of them in an $470m transmission plant to be built in Celaya in El Bajío. Read more
Mexico’s central bank on Friday held its benchmark rate at 4 per cent – brushing off concerns that the economy could be losing steam.
Growth in industrial output has slowed and retail sales dropped in February by the most in more than three years. On the other hand, capital has flooded in, the peso has surged by 6 per cent this year and inflation hit 4.7 per cent early this month, though Agustín Carstens, the central bank governor, believes it will drop to not much more than 3 per cent by the end of the year. Read more
Mexichem, the voracious Mexican PVC and chemicals maker, has gobbled up the speciality PVC resin assets of US-based PolyOne for $250m, part of the $1.2bn war-chest for acquisitions recently announced by Juan Pablo del Valle, chairman of the Mexichem board. Read more
The move by Mineros, Colombia’s leading gold producer to acquire a majority stake in Nicaragua’s Hemco, highlights two trends — one is the arrival of billions of dollars of Colombian capital in Central America, the other Nicaragua’s efforts to boost its growing mining industry. Read more
With an eye on a forthcoming telecoms shake-up in Mexico and nearly 200m Spanish-speaking market, Michael Bloomberg’s eponymous news agency has this week formed a “multi-platform alliance” with the Mexican business daily El Financiero. Read more
Exciting times in Mexico. Enrique Peña Nieto is the first Mexican president since Carlos Salinas de Gortari, a quarter of a century ago, to seize the reins of power with both hands. And on Monday he announced his most recent assault on the often shadowy special interests that are seen as resistant to any attempts to overturn decades of misfiring in the Mexican economy.
Having celebrated at the weekend his first 100 days in power with a claim that “I’m here to transform the country, not simply run it”, on Monday Peña Nieto unveiled a plan to reform telecommunications, a sector long criticized as being dominated by the three “titans” of the industry. Read more
Not a whole bucket of cold water, but at least a splash or two was administered on Friday to cool growing expectations on the near future of Mexico’s economy.
Most, but by no means all, analysts were surprised by a central bank decision to reduce its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point to its lowest ever, 4 per cent. The cut was the first since 2009. Read more
Mexico has turned the tide on foreign direct investment. Or, at least, so it seems. There are plenty of eddies in the rock pools.
Last year, foreign companies invested $12.7bn in Mexico, down from $21.5bn in 2011, the central bank reports. But Mexican companies invested $25.6bn overseas in 2012, more than double the $12.1bn reported in 2011. Read more
Grupo Modelo, Mexico’s leading brewer, whose $20.1bn acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev has hit a stumbling block in the United States, reported modest quarterly results as earnings were hit by a higher tax bill and the relative strength of the Mexican dollar to the US dollar. Read more
Carlos Slim closed the week with a successful $950m IPO of his Sanborns retail and restaurant chain whose tastes reflect the quintessence of the growing Mexican middle class.
Priced at 28 pesos a share, Sanborns see-sawed a little before hitting 28.31 in late trading on Friday. Read more
According to its vice-president of finance, Fernando González, “2012 was a year of recovery for Cemex”.
It was, but the recovery still faces a long slog, judging by the fourth quarter results reported on Thursday by the Mexican cement and building materials giant. Read more
The new kid on the cement block, Cemex Latam Holdings, made its quarterly earnings debut to warm applause.
The South and Central American offshoot of Mexico’s Cemex that was floated late last year on the Bogotá exchange reported sales in last year’s fourth-quarter of $404m, a 23 per cent year-on-year increase. Read more
So will Carlos Slim write off the €1.7bn that he has spent by taking a 28 per cent stake last year in KPN, the now troubled Dutch telecoms group?
KPN’s decision to stage a €4bn rights issue puts Slim’s América Móvil in a quandary. Should it put up more money to maintain its percentage stake or stay put and swallow its pride as well as its losses? Read more
Built at the height of Mexico’s oil boom more than three decades ago, the Pemex Tower in Mexico City – now badly damaged by Thursday’s explosion – was once described as “reflecting the pharaonic ambitions of Mexican bureaucracy”.
The description was penned by Manuel Buendía, once the nation’s best-known newspaper columnist, who was shot dead in a city centre street in 1984 in a killing that involved the secret police and drug barons. Read more
The US Department of Justice suit that aims to block the acquisition of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo by AB InBev, because it could deter competition, will strike a chord in Mexican drinkers’ thirsty throats.
Over the years, small regional breweries have been swallowed up in Mexico, until a duopoly controls 90 per cent of the market – Modelo on the one hand and, on the other, Cuauhtemoc-Moctezuma, which Heineken acquired a couple of years ago from the Monterrey-based bottling and retail group Femsa. Read more
Enrique Peña Nieto’s clean-cut image is matched by his enthusiasm for transparency, a theme that ran through his election campaign and he has followed through while in power. The Mexican president and his Cabinet recently published audited statements of their personal income, properties and other assets. Read more
Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto and his economic team must be chuffed. Barclays is the latest to sing the praises for the country’s resurgent economy.
The bank’s most recent analysis believes that the prospect for political reform – seen as a key by many commentators – as well as the improvement of competitiveness in manufacturing will maintain a healthy degree of dynamism this year. Read more
Mother Nature has dealt Central America a lousy hand. Earthquakes, floods and hurricanes of biblical proportions have battered the isthmus over the years, but the latest natural disaster is a botanical one.
A plague known as “coffee rust” has hit the region’s top-quality arabica crop. Premium blends from coffee grown in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama are much loved by aficionados. Read more