Goodrich Aerospace, a division of Goodrich Corp., is considering opening a plant in northern Mexico to manufacture nacelles, carbon-fiber composite covers used to smooth the airflow around a jet aircraft engine and protect all the accessories and ancillary components.
``They are in the final stage of landing the investment in northern Mexico,'' said a source close to the project. ``It is likely to be in Mexicali, Chihuahua or Monterrey. They will make a decision very soon - maybe within eight weeks.''
According to the source, who asked not to be named, Goodrich wants to move its nacelle production from its headquarters in Chula Vista, Calif., to Mexico, where it plans to employ several hundred hourly workers.
Goodrich's interest in Mexico is the latest development within the rapidly growing Mexican aerospace industry, which has seen companies like Montreal-based Bombardier, the world's third-largest aircraft maker, investing heavily in cities like Queretaro, in central Mexico.
Mason, Ohio-based Ellison Surface Technologies Inc., a leading specialist in thermal spray coatings for metals, announced the opening of an operation in 2008 in the city, said Patrick Rider, president of the Everest Mexico Business Startup Group Mexico in Mexico City.
``It's a small investment but a critical one, which we didn't expect to get so soon,'' Rider said. ``Ellison's presence will unlock a lot of doors.''
Rider said recently he had representatives from Boeing Co. of Chicago in his office in Queretaro. ``Boeing is looking to consolidate their supply base in North America and they are looking for low-cost suppliers of anything that goes into an airplane,'' he said.
Investment groups from the European Union also visited him, he added, ``and we are getting interest from aerospace companies that participate in the U.S. defense industry.''
Everest, its client Bombardier and the government of Queretaro state, organized a seminar about investing in Mexico in late April, which was attended by 58 aerospace companies.
Rider said his company was extremely happy with the support President Felipe CalderÃ³n's government was giving industrial development in Mexico. ``Considering where we're coming from ... the marks have been excellent, with the understanding we still have a long way to go.
``We're working with educational institutions in the U.S. and Canada to bring academic programs to Mexico.''
In the heating, ventilation and air conditioning field, Rider said he expected an announcement soon that would be made about a new, ``very large investment'' in northern Mexico.
``There will be a lot of plastic involved,'' he said.