Located in one of the most privileged areas of the Mexican Republic, the Bajío region, made up of the states of Querétaro, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Aguascalientes and San Luis Potosí, has represented for more than two decades a center of economic development that, due to its dynamism, strategic location, business and technological investment, has been called the “industrial diamond of Mexico”.
The five states that make up this region agreed to form what is also known as the Central-Bajío-West Alliance. According to data from the Secretary of Sustainable Development of the state, the total population of the area is 20.6 million inhabitants and as of 2019 represents 17.4% of the national GDP.
The economy of the Bajío region, mainly manufacturing, but which has also ventured into agro-industrial, logistics, 4.0 technology, aerospace, biomedical, trade and services markets, has become the strongest in the country, overtaking the northern border region.
According to the 2016 Top Management Perspectives in Mexico study conducted by the KPMG agency, companies bet on this region to expand their market in a period of three years.
Automotive industry: the cornerstone
In the automotive sector, the Ministry of Economy, in its Strategic Program for the Automotive Industry, Vision 2020, aims to achieve a domestic market size for new vehicles that will attract new investments in the sector, as well as to make Mexico one of the three preferred locations worldwide for the design and manufacture of vehicles, parts and components.
The partnership between the private and public sectors has allowed the expansion of investment opportunities in the Bajío region for mainly U.S., German and Japanese companies, positioning the country as the sixth largest vehicle manufacturer in the world in 2018.
In this region, specifically in Aguascalientes, there are auto parts plants, whose main products are stampings, electrical components, brakes and their parts, rubber products, engine and transmission parts for automobiles.
Aeronautics, the new bet
In recent years, the aeronautical sector in Mexico, mainly in Querétaro, a state undergoing a powerful development, has experienced a great growth that has been characterized by demanding high levels of quality, technology and safety in all its activities.
The dynamic Bajío region offers geographical privileges that keep it as a strong investment destination in this area due to its proximity to two of the largest markets: the United States and Canada. One of the advantages of the region is the exit route through both coasts of the country, the reduction of costs for products with high transportation and storage costs.
Canadian, French and Dutch companies have taken advantage of these advantages to establish themselves in the “lowlands” for the assembly of fuselages, landing gear, stabilizers, structures, insulators, electrical harnesses, turbine components, turbomachinery design, repair of composite materials, maintenance services and assembly of light aircraft.
Electronics industry in the Bajio
The state of Jalisco is home to a large electronics sector made up of manufacturing companies, design centers and specialized suppliers. Leading U.S. companies in the manufacture of computer equipment chose to settle in this area and have positioned themselves as the main state that manufactures information technology products.
There are even companies that have set up mechanical and electronic design centers for the aeronautics industry, integrated circuit design, software and hardware design. Among the main products manufactured by Jalisco’s electronics industry are computers, servers, printers, telephones, cell phones, CDs, DVDs and modular circuits.
Panorama in the new decade
The federal government’s new economic vision for the Bajío region will focus on diversification, innovation and inclusion as strategies that seek to contribute to the economy, as well as the incorporation of small and medium-sized companies in its chain of specialized suppliers.
Likewise, as part of the infrastructure to be built to enhance the economic development that already exists and provide greater connectivity and efficiency, which will favor both large corporations and human capital, the High Speed Train (HST) Mexico-Queretaro is expected to become viable, and will probably be expanded to the Bajio Zone and Jalisco.
Another major logistics project that could be consolidated in the coming years is the creation of a railroad connecting Guadalajara and Aguascalientes, a key infrastructure that could minimize travel time to various ports by up to 30 hours.
The Bajío, a region with a bountiful land, agriculture, geography and climate, which has developed economically in just a few decades and has provided Mexico with work and progress, does not intend to stop until it becomes the most powerful industrial region in Latin America.
Programa Estratégico de la Industria Automotriz Visión 2020
Monografía: Industria Aeronáutica en México
Perspectivas de Alta Dirección en México 2016