How Guanajuato Became a Global Automotive Powerhouse

“There are a good number of suppliers that initially came to [Guanajuato] to support GM [when they entered in 1994], but today they do business with a lot of companies [and] ship all over the world,” Manuel Fernandez, State of Guanajuato, Mexico.

From modest beginnings in the early 1990s when General Motors was the first OEM to establish operations in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato (in Silao), to today, when the auto industry is responsible for roughly half of the state’s industrial output, much has changed. This podcast explores the motivation and efforts behind Guanajuato’s shift from an economy based on agriculture and light industry to one where automotive manufacturing leads the way. 

Manuel Fernandez, Director of International Promotion for Guanajuato, explores in this interview with Entrada’s Doug Donahue:

  • How Guanajuato encouraged foreign direct investment in automotive, resulting in the state growing overall exports from $200 million in 1993 to $20 billion today.
  • The types of auto suppliers most needed in the state.
  • The presence of ten auto OEMs and hundreds of suppliers in a 120-mile radius of Guanajuato and how that presence translates to new opportunities.
  • How Guanajuato’s workforce has matured, with more than 100,000 workers receiving training annually, and 5,000 engineers per year graduating from universities and technical institutes.