Mexico’s biggest advantage in building cars is cost. Land and labor in Mexico are abundant and cheap (even cheaper than in China). Plants run with “practically no limits“—Nissan’s current plant runs 20+ hours a day—and workers are not only exceptionally productive but alsoincreasingly more skilled.
Mexico is also a sweet spot for exporters, thanks to its prime geographical location at the midpoint of the Americas, and its lengthy border with the world’s biggest economy. “For Audi, the fact that Mexico is so close to the US is key,” Jacuzzi said. Just as importantly, Mexico has 44 free trade agreements with the EU, Japan, Israel, and many other countries—more than double the number held by the US.