Automotive design in Mexico is increasingly in the country’s future

Automotive Design in Mexico is a profession that mixes artistic disciplines with industrial design to achieve the aesthetic and structural composition of a future automobile.

Originally posted on Tecma Group Blog

Over the course of the last several decades, Mexico has become a prolific and formidable player in the global automotive manufacturing sector.  However, according to Juan M. Santillán, the program manager for the Ford Motor Company, automotive design in Mexico is becoming an increasingly common reality.  This high value-add activity is derived from industrial design, which deals with the integral composition of any type of car.  When we talk about integral development, we mean that it takes care of all the stages of automotive design from initial ideation to the design of the smallest of details.

Although the Rigoletti Design House, which headquartered in Mexico City, has been involved in the design of cars since 2004, the country’s industry has a long way to go to become a prominent player in this realm.

In a recent speech at the School of Engineering at the University of Puebla (Udlap), Juan M. Santillán emphasized that the rise of Mexico in the sphere of automotive design will be especially noteworthy in the coming years.  Not only will Mexico manufacture and sell passenger vehicles abroad, but it will also export models that are designed to go to the country’s to export markets.

The Mexican automotive industry is well-positioned

Santillán explained that “Mexico’s geographical position is unique and privileged, not only because the country is close to, the United States, the market with the highest consumption of vehicles worldwide, but also because Mexico is fortunate to have connections with a broad range of trading partners through the free trade agreements that the country has entered into over the years.  Mexico’s global trade, in great part, is governed by 12 commercial accords that address relations with 46 nations.

The Ford program manager also explained that companies such as the one that he represents seek to incorporate graduates from Mexican institutions of higher learning into their ranks.  An emphasis is now being placed on finding fresh talent among students that can contribute to the company’s efforts in engineering and automotive design in Mexico.  Such qualified human resources can play a significant role in enabling the Ford Motor Company to face future current and future challenges that confront the Mexican automotive industry.

Priscila Ramos is the engineering manager of vehicle systems and components at the Ford Motor Company.  She is currently responsible for the bodies, chassis, and electrical delivery systems of three Ford passenger vehicle models. She recently explained that automotive design in Mexico of these key automotive components can take between 18 and 35 months. She also stated that, in terms of cost, the investment in the development of these items and systems can be somewhere between US $1 billion and US $4 billion.

During the meeting, which was held virtually due to the current coronavirus pandemic, Ramos went on to state that the engineering and design requirements of vehicles correspond to the segment of the market at which efforts are directed.  This takes into account the selection of the right technology, the consideration of any relevant government requirements, and the integration of the entire automotive design in such a way as to make the vehicle manufacturable.

Automotive design in Mexico driven by educational partnerships

In the session, René Lara, the dean of the Udlap School of Engineering stressed the importance of an increase in collaboration between higher education institutions.  According to Lara, educating students in the area of automotive design in Mexico will be a challenge that Udlap is prepared to face.  In addition to industrial design, some of the additional courses that Mexican students must take to follow this career path include modeling, physics, mathematics, computer science, and technical drawing.

Lara also noted that the Ford Motor Company is a technology partner of the university that will enhance the knowledge and training of engineers and future vehicle designers.  He stressed the importance of improving talent acquisition processes and project generation with teachers in the relevant university departments.

Finally, Lara went on to state that “It is especially important that linkages are created between institutions of higher learning and companies involved in automotive design in Mexico.  This is considering the fact that this is a product that must meet the exacting demands of manufacturers and consumers in sophisticated international markets.”

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