Mexico conjures up many vivid and often contrasting images; from pristine Caribbean beaches to brazen kidnappings and violence; from the crowded streets of Mexico City to open, unspoilt desert landscapes. For the automotive industry, the country has attracted billions of dollars in investment even as many executives worry about cargo security.

But Mexico has a way of holding a mirror up to its visitors, reminding them not to let stereotypes overshadow reality. In a bar in Mexico City, a welcoming bartender served me a short glass of 1800 Añejo Tequila, accompanied by separate glasses of tomato and lime juice. “Sip, sip, sip,” he cautioned me, knowing immediately what most American or European visitors would have in mind.

That was the smallest of inverted expectations. Although there are issues ranging from capacity to theft, the sophistication of the supply chain here reminds you quickly why so many manufacturers have come to Mexico. There are top-notch logistics providers, a well-functioning intermodal market and processes that are global benchmarks, including for Nissan.

One local summed it up: “If you want to look for the bad in Mexico, you will find even worse than you expected, but if you’re open minded, you will see amazing things.”  

Over the past months we have ignored the bartender’s advice and drunk deeply from Mexico, with in-depth reports looking across the supply chain and inbound logistics and for finished vehicle logistics as well. In total we have some nine features either dedicated to or relevant to Mexico that have been posted recently, and that is before the recent announcement that Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti will build vehicles together in Mexico. We uncover a market facing pains familiar to other emerging countries, but one which is also closely linked in its supply chain and engineering to the US and, increasingly, other regions thanks to the litany of global products that it builds. [sam_ad id=6 codes='true']

True to our aim of reflecting the sector’s global range, you can have more than a shot of tequila from our recent story menu. Try a mix of a British and Chinese premium supply chain with our profile of the Chery Jaguar Land Rover operations. A sturdy helping of German efficiency is available with a global lean warehousing initiative at Robert Bosch. Real connoisseurs may be interested in a French vintage company attracting Russian investment, with an interview with Gefco chairman, Luc Nadal. Finally, though the harvest may be difficult this year, Thailand’s promise is still heady and strong.

Remember, as well as keeping an open mind, please drink and read responsibly.

You can also access the turning pages version of Automotive Logistics and Finished Vehicle Logistics.