At a gradual pace and with strict protocols in place, the reopening of the automotive industry in Mexico is moving forward.
With the continuing improvement in the circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, a reopening of Mexico’s important automotive industry is at hand. Companies that have moved forward in this effort have submitted their safety protocol information to the Mexican government for approval and implementation. Among the OEM assemblers, the car brand with the largest production footprint in Mexican territory, General Motors, announced that it had returned to its manufacturing activities on Thursday, May 28, 2020.
Before the opening of the GM plant, the company’s CEO in Mexico, stated that “the well-being and safety of our employees has been and will be our top priority, so we are doing everything that is necessary to ensure a safe return to operations.”
Furthermore, in commenting more upon the reopening of the automotive industry in Mexico, Garza went on to say that “after two months of suspended activities, we will begin to manufacture again by applying the strictest of health and safety protocols. We now are able to move forward with our activities at our Mexican facilities.”
GM Mexico produces vehicles in Mexico for sale in the North American market. Models that are produced include the Chevrolet Silverado, the Cheyenne, and GMC pickup trucks, as well as the Chevrolet Blazer, Equinox, and GMC Terrain SUVs.
As a part of the effort of reopening the automotive industry in Mexico, General Motors restarted its operations at its manufacturing complexes in a gradual, scheduled, and safe manner. The first facilities that renewed their production activities were the motor and transmission plants in GM complexes in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, and Silao, Guanajuato. In a statement to the press, the company announced that “In line with the recently published government provisions, which include the naming of the manufacture of transportation equipment as an essential economic activity, the company conducted a Health and Safety Self-Assessment which resulted in compliance with standards implemented by the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS).”
Although the reopening of the automotive industry in Mexico has begun, General Motors and other OEM assemblers are still waiting for several of their auto parts suppliers to resume their manufacturing activities. In order to protect its employees, GM and its suppliers have issued and applied a number of new health protocols. Among them are:
• Taking measures to control access and the flow of people.
• Monitoring the temperature of employees upon their arrival at production facilities.
• Filling out a COVID-19 questionnaire.
• Using a supply of personal protection equipment that is comprised of masks and eyewear.
• Constantly sanitizing workstations and common areas.
• Applying social distancing measures.
• Implementing prevention protocols when transporting personnel
• Creating special guides for employees, suppliers, and visitors to manufacturing facilities.
More reopening of the automotive industry in Mexico
In addition to the US-based automotive manufacturer, General Motors, other well-known brands have also opened their plants in other areas of the Mexican Republic. For instance, Germany’s BMW has recently restarted operations at its San Luis Potosí site. It is at this plant that to company manufactures the most current generation of one of its most important and iconic vehicles, it’s Series 3 line.
Also, from Germany, Mercedes-Benz and Daimler have both returned to production at their Mexican facilities. The former at its automotive manufacturing complex in Aguascalientes, and the latter at its truck manufacturing plants in Coahuila and the state of Mexico. All companies have implemented strict health protocols, social distancing, and are operating with reduced staff.
Some states are taking a more cautious approach
In contrast to states such as Coahuila, Guanajuato, Aguascalientes, and the state of Mexico, the Central Mexican state of Puebla is approaching the reopening of the automotive industry in a more cautious manner.
Puebla is taking a measured approach and is not yet quite ready to restart its automotive manufacturing operations. This situation affects plants that are owned by the Volkswagen Group and Audi.
Although the governor of the State of Puebla, Miguel Angel Barbosa, clearly recognizes the importance of automotive production to his state’s economy and to its citizens’ well-being, he has contended that the reopening of the industry within the entity must be done with the federal authority, in this case, that of the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare, that regulates its operation. According to Barbosa, “all automotive firms are working in conjunction with the authorities to be able to resume their activities in the best possible way.”