Industry in the central American state of Mexico has boomed in recent years. An example?
Industry in the central American state of Mexico has boomed in recent years. An example of the way in which various industries are now working together to cut costs and increase production is the Ciudad Sahagun Industrial complex in Hidalgo state, northeast of Mexico City.
The complex was established with the assistance of government funds in 1969, and houses three major industrial plants. The Siderurgica Nacional (SIDENA) uses modern electric furnaces to produce steel, cast iron and aluminium for the Diesel Nacional (DINA) car production plant and for the construction of railway stock at the Constructora Nacional de Carros de Ferrocarrill (C.N.C.F.) within the complex. In this way, transport costs are reduced to a minimum.
The SIDENA plant is fifth largest in the country, and takes advantage of the cheap hydro-electricity produced by the numerous streams and rivers of the province. In addition to supplying the construction plants at Ciadad Sahagun, SIDENA also supplies metal for other Mexican industry and for its own production of tractors.
The DINA car factory -- working in collaboration with the French Renault car firm -- produces cheap cars for the domestic Mexican market and also for export. The factory is booming ... at a time when major car firms in the United States have begun to cut down on production and lay off sections of the labour force. In Mexico, jobs are scarce and one of the benefits of the Ciudad Sahagun complex is the 18,000 jobs it has provided for workers in the region.
The DINA plant produced 18,000 cars in 1974 and 1975 production estimated to top 45,000. In addition the factory builds buses and ambulances and fire-engines for domestic use, and produces motors to power the water-pumps so desperately needed by Mexican agriculture. In the future, Mexico plans to export vehicles to other central American states.
Exports are also planned for the railway stock produced at the C.N.C.F. plant, which turned out 3,000 carriages alone year. By using Mexican-made rolling stock, the country saves on valuable foreign exchange formerly used to purchase United States-produced stock.
As the current energy crisis hits mass industry throughout the world, the Ciuded Sahagun complex is moving towards the world market to fill the gaps left by industrial giants like Chrysler and Ford. By using cheap power and employing natural resources to the full, the developing country is progressing towards a higher level of industry ... and a more profitable price for its goods.