Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: Ford’s new electric Mustang will be built in Mexico; Japanese plastic manufacturer investing $65 million in Mexico plant; GEODIS Logistics launches direct air cargo service from Hong Kong to Mexico; Rose Brophy is named interim director for Laredo CBP Field Office.
Ford’s new Mustang Mach-E electric SUV to be built in Mexico
Ford Motor Company announced it would build its new 2021 Mustang Mach-E full-electric sport utility vehicle at a plant in Mexico, according to Reuters.
The battery-powered SUV will make its world debut Nov. 17 during an event in Los Angeles.
Ford previously had announced it would produce its new all-electric vehicle in Mexico, but that was before it revealed the new SUV would be called a Mustang.
Analysts said the move is risky, considering President Donald Trump’s negotiations of a new North American trade deal and backlash for American vehicles made in Mexico and imported to the U.S., according to a report by CNBC.
“Car shoppers typically place little importance on where a vehicle is built, but the Mustang Mach-E will be debuting in the midst of a highly contentious election cycle where automotive manufacturing jobs and plant locations could present a ripe opportunity for political grandstanding,” Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of auto industry analysis, said to CNBC.
The Mustang will be manufactured at Ford’s plant in the Mexican city of Cuautitlán, around 644 miles from the Texas-Mexico border. The plant, which opened in 1964 and currently employs 2,130 people, has produced a variety of vehicles during its long history, including the Mustang, Crown Victoria, F-Series truck, Fiesta, Contour and Mercury Mystique.
The new Mustang will reportedly come in five trim levels and cost between $43,895 and $60,500.
Japanese plastic manufacturer investing $65 million in Mexico plant
Japan’s Uchiyama Manufacturing Corp. has begun construction on a $65 million plastic manufacturing facility in Mérida, Yucatan, Mexico.
The company makes plastics products used in the automotive industry as well as the packaging and construction sectors. The new plant was initially announced last year. However, construction on the new facility began in November.
The plant will be manufacturing seals and gaskets for dynamic and static engines, which will be exported to the United States, South America and Asia. Clients include Toyota, Ford, General Motors and Mazda.
The Yucatan facility will be built on 15 acres and employ 200 workers initially, eventually expanding to 1,000, according to a release.
Uchiyama Manufacturing has a distribution center for its products in León, Guanajuato, Mexico, however, the Yucatan plant will be its first factory in Mexico.
The company, which was founded in 1898 in Western Japan, has 22,000 employees around the world, including a manufacturing plant in Greensboro, North Carolina; and a sales and distribution center in Detroit, Michigan.
GEODIS Logistics launches direct air cargo service from Hong Kong to Mexico
Global supply chain provider GEODIS recently launched full cargo service from Hong Kong to Guadalajara, Mexico.
The new weekly service has a 22-hour real-time transit to the Mexican hub, according to a company release.
Operated by a chartered B747-400ERF and MD-11 F aircraft, AirDirect Mexico is a nonstop service, providing GEODIS’ customers with a reliable solution and secured capacity in addition to its other air cargo services, AirFast, AirFlex and AirSave, said company officials.
“We have been encouraged by the initial bookings that we have received for our inaugural flight and expect these to rise to a threshold volume where a second and, eventually, a third flight per week will be established,” Eric Martin-Neuville, GEODIS’ executive vice president for freight forwarding, said in a release.
GEODIS officials also said the new direct flight service between Hong Kong and Mexico represents one of many initiatives that are being introduced to the market as part of a regional, multimodal growth strategy.
“AirDirect Mexico follows the recent launch of our Road Network service in South Asia, providing scheduled services with day-definite transit times to all major destinations in the region,” said Onno Boots, GEODIS’ regional president and CEO for Asia Pacific. “As part of this growth strategy, Hong Kong is GEODIS’ hub for China- and Southeast Asia-originated cargoes to Mexico, Latin America, USA and Europe.”
Rose Brophy is named interim director for Laredo CBP Field Office
Rose Brophy has been selected as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) interim director of field operations for the Laredo, Texas, office, according to a release.
As director of field operations, Brophy will oversee the operations of eight ports of entry along the Texas-Mexico border, from Brownsville to Del Rio, Texas.
The Laredo field office processes the largest amount of land-based commercial truck traffic in the United States with more than $178 billion in merchandise entering in fiscal year 2018 through the 23 crossings, six airports and one seaport that comprise the eight ports of entry.
In FY 2018, CBP officers seized 101,509 pounds of narcotics valued at $243.5 million while processing more than 3.5 million commercial trucks, 21 million privately owned vehicles, 58 million passengers and pedestrians and 69,594 buses within the Laredo field office.
Brophy previously served as the director of field operations for the CBP’s Buffalo, New York, field office. Brophy has more than 26 years of experience and began her career working for the examinations branch of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Buffalo.
Brophy succeeds David P. Higgerson, who retired after 49 years of federal service. Brophy is expected to take her post in Laredo this month.