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Lesson Transcript

Culture File: Mexico - Lesson 18: The Automotive Industry
Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: Mexico series at SpanishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring essential cultural information about Mexico, Mexican Culture, and Mexican People. In this lesson, we will continue with another episode of this series about Mexican economic activities. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 18: The Automotive Industry.
The automotive industry, or "industria automotriz", is a very important sector of the Mexican economy. Mexico is ranked among the top ten countries in the world for vehicle assembling, right after powerful economies such as China, the U.S., Japan, India, Germany, Korea, and Brazil. The automotive industry in Mexico is a varied and growing market, accounting for 17.6 percent of the country's manufacturing sector and 3 percent of the gross domestic product.
Mexico has free trade agreements, or "tratados de libre comercio", with 44 countries, making it a convenient export base for automakers. In fact, eighty percent of the cars, or in Spanish "carros", built in Mexico are shipped to other countries. Mexico is one of the only countries in the world where you can export duty-free to North America, South America, Europe, and Japan, thanks to the numerous free-trade agreements that have been established over the years to support the industry’s growth.
The main states for production are Puebla and Aguascalientes, which are both strategically convenient locations for the industry. Puebla is surrounded by major cities, including Mexico City, and Aguascalientes is only a few hours’ drive from both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and is also close to Monterrey and the United States.
The first automobile plant in Mexico was built by Henry Ford in 1925. Later, in 1962, Mexico issued new government regulations that favored domestic production to promote employment and technological advances, or "avances tecnológicos", in the industry. New car makers like Volkswagen and Nissan also started opening plants in Mexico as a result of these policy changes. After a national debt crisis in 1983, Mexico changed its policies again to better promote exports, or "exportaciones", and attract more new factories.
After the 1990s, this sector of Mexico’s economy grew steadily, bringing it to where it is today, covering 40% of all auto-sector jobs. The Mexican Automotive Industry isn’t just one of the country’s largest employers; it also offers some of the best pay, training and opportunities for professional development, in Spanish "desarrollo profesional" in the country. Initially sought after for its cheap labor, Mexico is now recognized worldwide as a qualified and specialized assembling country, winning various awards such as the Shingo Prize for high quality and productivity levels in both its automotive and auto parts plants.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Did you know that Mexico is an important contributor to the automotive industry worldwide?
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