Tijuana: A Rising Hub for Aerospace Manufacturing in Mexico


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The aerospace industry has become increasingly important within Mexico’s economic growth. Aerospace manufacturing in Mexico began receiving major investments in development, engineering and research in 1990

According to data from the Mexican Aerospace Industry Federation (FEMIA), since then, Mexico has scaled up the ranks as the 12th main country with most exports globally with a 2.0%. By the middle of 2022, the aerospace industry had expanded to 368 manufacturing companies, with a production focused on civil commercial, private and defense aviation.

Although there are multiple Mexican states where aerospace production is concentrated, Baja California has the largest volume of production. The state is home to over 100 aerospace companies providing direct employment for almost 30,000 people in the region (ITA). Today, Baja California stands as one of the most significant federal entities for aerospace manufacturing in Mexico. 

The Landscape of Tijuana Aerospace Manufacturing 

Tijuana is known for being a global manufacturing hub, with an array of industries driving growth to the city. Among those, the aerospace industry in Tijuana most definitely stands out, holding over 60 years of history. 

Switch-Luz was the first maquiladora in the aerospace sector to settle in Tijuana. The business started producing electrical switches for the Boeing 737 in 1980, according to a San Diego Red article. Since mid-2019, aerospace firms in Tijuana have enjoyed a new innovation and design center supported by the Mexican Confederation of Industrial Chambers (ITA).

Today, some of the top aerospace companies in Tijuana are:

  • BAP Aerospace de Mexico 
  • Encore Aerospace Mexico 
  • Safran Cabin 
  • Eaton Industries 

These companies specialize in manufacturing aerospace parts, such as: 

  • Cabinets
  • Seat covers 
  • Seat backs
  • Switches
  • Fittings
  • Pipes 
  • Ducts for engines
  • Interior walls and doors 

Tijuana is a strategic location that benefits from trade agreements and programs such as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the Maquiladora Program, easily connecting all of North America.

It is also home to a highly skilled and widely bilingual workforce thanks to numerous colleges and technical institutes that provide specialized engineering and aeronautical technology programs in the city, resulting in a constant flow of qualified and talented graduates ready to meet the needs of the sector.

The Future of Aerospace Manufacturing in Mexico

At this year’s Aerospace Meetings Queretaro —an event organized to introduce top automotive and aerospace businesses to potential suppliers—, the president of FEMIA Luis G. Lizcano shared a performance report on the Mexican aerospace sector, projecting a growth of 14% in Mexican aerospace exports by 2024 and an increase of 13% by 2025 (Infodefensa.com).

Plus, there are still opportunities to be explored, such as:

  • Maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services that are on the rise.
  • Further integration of advanced manufacturing technologies to increase competitiveness.
  • Strengthening partnerships with global aerospace companies to improve technological capabilities and market reach.

With the aerospace industry booming worldwide, Tijuana is in a strong position to take advantage of new prospects and keep up its momentum as an international hub for aerospace manufacturing.

Establish Your Manufacturing Business in Mexico

ATISA has been Tijuana’s most active land developer and industrial space builder for more than 40 years. We have extensive experience assisting aerospace manufacturing businesses successfully establish their operations in the city. 

We offer a diverse inventory of industrial buildings and a wide variety of services to help you get settled in a high-quality building.

Ready to make your business grow? Contact us today to get started!


Sources:

International Trade Administration (2023) Mexico – Country Commercial Guide. Retrieved from: https://www.trade.gov/country-commercial-guides/mexico-aerospace

Pro México Inversión y Comercio (s.f) Aerospace Global Industry. Retrieved from: https://embamex.sre.gob.mx/kenia/images/stories/pdf/aerospace.pdf4

Federación Mexicana de la Industria Aeroespacial (2022) Análisis, Diagnóstico y

Propuesta Estratégica Para el Sector Aeroespacial en México. Retrieved from: https://drive.google.com/file/d/16FaiNUCrSIiiIZlk4fLgsg2nVBCxKLut/view

San Diego Red (2014) Switch-Luz. Retrieved from: https://www.sandiegored.com/es/noticias/84198/SwitchLuz

Infodefensa.com (2024) Femia: las exportaciones aeroespaciales mexicanas aumentarán 14 % en 2024. Retrieved from: https://www.infodefensa.com/texto-diario/mostrar/4740488/exportaciones-aeroespaciales-mexicanas-aumentaran-14-2024-femia

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