Are We Ready for an Automotive Plant?
(9 pages of text)
The city of McAllen, Texas and its partners have worked on attracting an automotive assembly plant to the region for over fifteen years. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provision, this region enjoys the advantages offered by both sides of the Mexican-U.S. border. Even during the economic downturn of 2007 to 2008, McAllen experienced a lower unemployment rate compared to other cities in the United States. One of the primary reasons was its close proximity and economic ties to Mexico. Lower labour cost, a right-to-work state and proximity to Mexico were some of this region's strengths, while a high illiteracy rate, limited numbers of automotive suppliers and small workforce were among its weaknesses. Based on publicly available data and aggregate score evaluation methods, McAllen is compared to other potential sites. The case addresses a wide range of issue regarding site selection factors within the automotive industry.
The case is suitable for courses and workshops concerning operations management, supply chain management, production management, project management, decision science and management science. Exhibits can be omitted for graduate and executive levels, requiring the students to research and come up with their own factors.Teaching objectives include:
- to examine essential factors for site location of different industries, including the automotive industry
- to evaluate the potential sites based on a quantitative method, such as the relative aggregate score
- to understand other qualitative factors that can affect the decision
United States, Small, 2009
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