Chinese carmaker JAC Motors’s Mexican subsidiary, JAC México, is planning to be a core part of Mexico’s EV supply chain for the next 100 years, according to the division’s manager Isidoro Massri.
At Automotive Logistics & Supply Chain Mexico 2023, Isidoro Massri, director of Giant Motors Latin America and general manager of JAC México told delegates that JAC México’s focus is on being a “fully autonomous Mexican company for Mexico”.
He said that the carmaker developed a factory in Mexico to buck the trend of being focused on imports and exports from Mexico. “We wanted to first be a Mexican company, and second a Mexican-focused retail company,” he said.
While there has been a trend of Chinese carmakers importing parts into Mexico and assembling the vehicle in the country, Massri said the facility uses a local supply chain, including 60 local dealers. “We didn’t want to only be an importer, and while 80-90% of vehicles are usually focused on export to USA, we didn’t want that,” he said. “We decided to develop a factory in Mexico for Mexico. We are not focused on exporting, everything that is produced here is produced by Mexico for Mexico.”
He said that the carmaker is focused on being flexible to give the Mexican market more EV options – so much so that the facility has seven different assembly lines for 18 different models. “In 2019, we went to the dealers and tested three EVs but they all said ‘no, Mexico is not ready’, due to a lack of infrastructure, lack of support from the government, lack of money to invest,” he said. “I was really frustrated so we told the dealers to have one demo in a model, and three months later they were all selling the EVs. What we realised is the reason people didn’t buy an EV was because there were no options in a full range.”
With a capacity crisis and bottlenecks at borders and ports in Mexico, Massri said the carmaker is trying to have as strong a focus as possible on the domestic logistics and supply chain.
“We are not thinking within a worldwide strategy, we need to think of the Mexican customer as the only customer,” he said. “Having a factory is not the easy or cheap way, but it’s the long-term way. We are developing a company that will be here for the next 100 years, and to do that we need to make long-term decisions.”
Automotive Logistics & Supply Chain Mexico 2023 took place December 5-7 at the Marquis Reforma Hotel, Mexico City.