French aerospace firm to open new factory in northern Mexico

Safran Group to bring 800 jobs to U.S.-Mexico border, with Mexican officials citing new USMCA as factor in decision.

A second international firm has announced plans to open a new factory in northern Mexico, according to Mexico’s foreign secretary, Marcelo Ebrard.

The Safran Group (NASDAQ: SAFRF), Mexico’s largest aerospace employer, will open its new factory in Chihuahua City, creating more than 800 jobs. 

“I share with you that we received notification on July 1, the day the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) came into force, that the French company Safran is starting construction of a plant in [the state of] Chihuahua to manufacture the interiors of Boeing passenger planes,” Ebrard tweeted on Saturday.

Paris-based Safran Group has not provided a timeline for the construction of the new plant in Chihuahua City. Safran Group is one of the largest aerospace companies in the world, building airplane engines and manufacturing other airplane equipment.

The Safran Group already has 19 factories and employs more than 11,500 people in Mexico. The new plant in Chihuahua City will be the company’s second in the area. Chihuahua City is around 230 miles from El Paso, Texas, the closest port of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Ebrard cited the USMCA as a major factor in more international companies showing interest in Mexico. The trade pact went into effect July 1, bringing new regulations aimed at boosting North American economies. It replaced the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, overhauling rules for trade in agriculture, manufacturing and services with Mexico and Canada.

Safran’s new plant in the Mexican state of Chihuahua is the second major international investment in the area since the USMCA went into force. Last week, Canadian off-road vehicle manufacturer Bombardier Recreational Products said it is building a $136 million plant that will create 1,000 jobs in Juárez.

Chinese truck maker Shacman Trucks also recently announced major expansion plans in Mexico, including the intention to build a new manufacturing plant for light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact