Mexico Eyes Aerospace Growth

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Mexico hopes to be the next big thing in aerospace manufacturing, thanks to what one analyst says is a 30-percent cost advantage over the U.S. At a conference in Dallas last week, Mexican government official Eduardo Solis said Bombardier will be building regional jets in his country by 2011 and that the company’s parts plant there recently shipped a fuselage to the current assembly plant in Canada. "Mexico's aeronautical industry is hot today," Solís told the Dallas Morning News. However, Bombardier spokesman Marc Duchesne told the newspaper the company hasn’t yet made up its mind to build aircraft in Mexico, although it is considering it. "We may one day, but it's way too soon to say that," he said. Mexico’s aerospace industry includes a lot of industry heavyweights, such as Cessna and Honeywell, and employs about 16,000 people. Luc Beaudoin, a former Bombardier executive who now works as an aerospace consultant in Mexico City, says companies can save up to 30 percent by building products in Mexico, but the biggest savings come from establishing high-volume production there. "You shouldn't venture into Mexico unless you know where your economy is going to be," he told the Morning News. "You need volume to make a material impact on the bottom line."