EV transition in the Japanese automotive industry in Mexico: The case of Nidec Corporation

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Brussels (2023)


automotive products, electrification, EV industry, global supply chain, International Management, Japan, Japanese companies, Mexico, nearshoring, North America, sustainability


Nidec Corporation, a company founded by the charismatic businessman Shigenobu Nagamori in 1973 in Kyoto, Japan. A year after, in 1974, got a $1 million worth of hard disk drive motors, and in 1979 commercialized a spindle motor for an eight-inch hard disk drive, which continues holding the first share worldwide. In its 50 years of story, Nidec has become a worldwide leader in motor development and production, it holds 300 group companies around the world, which span from the smallest components for IoT products, electronic parts and sensors, to coolers, inverter and motors for air conditioners, refrigerators, washers, dishwashers and other home appliances, to the most recent business field of automotive components and robotics. Companies and business fields, to which Nidec Corporation have grown both from organic growth and through M&A and business transfers. In April 2019, Shigenobu Nagamori, announced the business transfer from Omron, another worldwide Kyoto’s maker, of Omron Automotive, their subsidiary centered on the production of automotive components, to Nidec, which became Nidec Automotive.

Nidec Automotive is a company which have worldwide presence and which holds operations in North America in Canada, USA and México. Nowadays their main products are powertrain components such as the in-wheel motor, body components such as the seat tactile device motor, fan motor and coreless motors and fan motors, ADAS (advanced driver-assistance system), and heat management components such as electric water pump and electric oil pump. And since the incorporation in Nidec Automotive, they started to build in Guangzhou factory an e-Axle system, a compact, cost-attractive electric drive solution for battery-electric vehicles and hybrid applications. This is aimed to become the most profitable product of Nidec Corporation on 2025, on which Nidec will switch from being a maker of small motors to become a maker of motors for the EV automotive industry. Nowadays, it already supplies this motor to Chinese EV makers, on the vision of Shigenobu Nagamori, that the new global leader in automotive industry will be a Chinese company. But, their investments not only are in Asia, in 18th November 2022, Nidec announced that is going to build on 2025 a USD 715 million plant in Mexico that would produce electric axles, the powertrains of electrical vehicles.

Nidec Corporation will be the first Japanese company doing an investment of this economic scale for making components for the EV industry in Mexico, which will supply to all the North America market. In this research, a research team of Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan) and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) will proceed a qualitative research through an analysis of Nidec’s public IR documents, interviews published in press and media to the President Shigenobu Nagamori, and public press releases, and trough primal source information, visiting the Nidec Automotive facilities in Komaki, Nagoya, Japan, and interviewing Katsuhiro Wada, President and CEO of Nidec Automotive, as well, as visit the facilities of Nidec Automotive Motor Mexicana in Silao (México), apart from getting insights of the most relevant Mexican experts in the Japan-Mexico relations and the automotive sector.

We aim to get an overall case study which covers the purposes of Nidec Corporation to leader the motor industry in the EV sector at worldwide scale, as well, as to understand their presence in México, their future investments and its repercussion to the whole Mexican automotive industry. Apart from that, we also aim to provide an analysis of the actual political and economic relation of Mexico and Japan in the automotive sector, as well as an organizational analysis about the penetration of the singular vision, mission and values of Nidec Corporation on their local human resources in Mexico.

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