Bronco Sport will be Manufactured at Ford’s facility in Hermosillo

After more than two decades, Ford Motor Co. is bringing its iconic Bronco back to the manufacturing line—and its plant in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, will play a starring role. 

The new Bronco Sport—the smaller sibling of the standard Bronco, discontinued in 1996—will be manufactured at the company's Hermosillo plant. 2021 models are set to arrive at dealerships in late 2020, preceding the larger standard Bronco. It means a significant boost to Hermosillo's local workforce and opportunities for strengthening the local automotive supply chain. 

Bronco Sport production is underway

Ford Bronco Sport Interior Manufacturers in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico

The Bronco Sport, a small off-road SUV, is aimed at adventure-seekers. Its unique features include a cargo area able to fit two upright mountain bikes, a roof rack designed for rooftop tent camping, and a Terrain Management System™ with up to seven modes for travel over any type of terrain. 

"We started this project several years ago," Winston Landin, Ford's global director of consumer insights, told USAToday. After nailing down the design details, the company turned to examine manufacturing locations. Hermosillo fit the bill. 

"Sonora has earned its place to be considered in production as important as this due to the excellent workforce it has," commented Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich Arellano in a statement. "Everything fits to make it an attractive state for investment."

Reasons to manufacture in Hermosillo 

Manufacturing Area in Hermosillo

Hermosillo has been an important site for Ford since it opened its Stamping and Assembly plant in 1986 as part of a joint venture with Mazda. Since that time, the 1.6 million square foot facility has grown considerably. In 2002, Ford invested $1 billion USD in the facility to add new levels of efficiency and flexibility to its processes. 

As Gov. Pavlovich mentioned, the workforce is a leading reason behind Ford's commitment to the area. The automotive manufacturer employs nearly 3,000 people at its Hermosillo plant and sees tremendous returns in productivity for that investment. The Harbor Report, the automotive industry's leading report, has granted the Hermosillo plant a top rating in the "Compact Premium Conventional" category in terms of productivity. Data indicates that it takes workers an average of 20.78 hours to assemble a single-vehicle.

Ford is hardly the only company to see these benefits, although its presence here has done much to attract other suppliers. The capital of Sonora, less than 200 miles from the U.S. border, is a fast-growing manufacturing hotspot. While its location and long history of automotive manufacturing present tremendous benefits, the workforce makes it more attractive still. 

The local population skews young, at 30 years old on average, and a significant portion of this working population holds industrial experience. Tetakawi's Hermosillo Labor Market Report found nearly one-third of surveyed employees held experience working for a foreign-owned maquiladora. Prospective employees are also well educated, as the state is home to 17 universities and is the highest-ranking Mexican state for post-secondary education enrollment. Despite these advantages, wages here are consistent with national averages.

The Sonora manufacturing network

Map of Ford's supply chain in Hermosillo, Guaymas, and Empalme, Sonora

Ford's presence in Hermosillo has attracted a broad assemblage of automotive component suppliers, which, in turn, has attracted other manufacturing sectors. But the city's connectivity to the broader region, the country, and the world, is encouraging many automotive and other manufacturers to explore sites beyond the state capital, locations where wages and additional costs may be even more competitive. 

Today, Hermosillo is part of a network of manufacturing cities that include Guaymas and Empalme, just 80 miles to the south. Ford suppliers, as well as other automotive suppliers interested in becoming part of the local supply chain, may benefit from a more rural location's cost benefits—so long as investors take a strategic approach.

Many manufacturers opt to work with a shelter service provider that can provide both a legal entity that helps rapidly ramp up manufacturing in Mexico and a range of other services. A shelter service provider like Tetakawi can assist with everything from regulatory compliance to recruiting and hiring to import and export assistance. 

What's more, these cities are home to manufacturing communities that offer services well beyond the standard industrial park. The Bella Vista Manufacturing Community in Empalme, for example, connects investors with infrastructure, amenities to attract labor and security. The Roca Fuerte Manufacturing Community in Guaymas adds to that the presence of an on-site training center that connects employers with a prepared workforce. The Rio Sonora Manufacturing Community in Hermosillo is less than 30 minutes away from Ford's factory in Hermosillo and is the newest and most advanced industrial park in Northwestern Mexico

Are you a Ford Bronco Supplier? 

If you are Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 supplier to the Ford Bronco Sport and you are thinking about expanding into Mexico, Tetakawi has everything that you need to make a data-driven decision.  Contact us to find our everything you need to know about manufacturing in Sonora. 




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