I recently flew to Guadalajara to visit the two Siemens plants there: Control Components & Systems Engineering and Large Drives Products. Many people upon learning about the trip told me that the city is beautiful and the people are friendly, both of which turned out to be absolutely true. Think palm trees, warm breezes, and lots of smiling faces. I was slightly worried about all the drug war stuff you hear about, but our group saw none of this during the trip.
Surprisingly, it turns out that Siemens has been in Mexico for 118 years. The company recently moved its Controls plant to Guadalajara from Juarez -- one, because of the unrest in Juarez; and two, because not only does Guadalajara provide a good shipping location from which to reach North and South America as well as Europe and Asia, it also provides the highly qualified engineering workforce high-tech companies need. Mexico is now the 13'th largest economy in the world and has a GDP of 1.07 billion USD. According to one company spokesperson, Mexico will soon become "the China of the Americas."
Look for our upcoming story in MACHINE DESIGN that will discuss the two Guadalajara plants and the Siemens technology they produce.