NAFTA in Transition

By Stephen J. Randall; Herman W. Konrad | Go to book overview

Pedro G. Marquez Perez Department of Political Science University of Calgary


13
The Mexican Automobile Industry

Given the intended transformation of the Mexican economy toward a model no longer based on import substitution and protectionism, the Salinas administration needed to develop the nonpetroleum. industry in order to achieve successful economic development. In particular, the model promoted the development of the manufacturing sector as an important source of economic growth for the country. Moreover, among the various sectors of manufacturing, the automobile industry had particular characteristics that recommend it as a case study of the Mexican economic transformation. First, the auto industry—in general, not only the Mexican—has been historically considered as a pioneer industry in the development and application of modernization processes.1 In other words, it has been characterized by its swift capability of adapting to new productive environments. Second, the Mexican automobile industry (MAI) offered a reliable example of how government regulations strongly influence industrial activity in a positive or negative manner.2 That is, the MAI was an industry especially susceptible to any kind of change promoted by the government. In addition the automobile industry is an especially important component of North American industrial development in the context of NAFTA.

____________________
1
J. Womack, D. Jones, and D. Roos, The Future of the Automobile:The Report of MIT's International Automobile Program ( Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1984), p. 12.
2
Douglas Bennet and Kenneth Sharpe, Transnational Corporations versus the State: The Political Economy of the Mexican Auto Industry ( Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985), pp. 4-5.

-215-

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