Nick Mirroff
The Washington Post
July 1, 2013

In the division of labor that has long governed North American auto manufacturing, the Big Three and other companies typically have built their top moneymakers in the United States, using their Mexican plants to produce smaller, cheaper cars with lower profit margins.

But that division is breaking down. As Mexico cranks out record numbers of vehicles and attracts billions in new investment, Mexican auto workers are increasingly able to match the skill and productivity of their U.S. counterparts — and at a fraction of the wages.

General Motors is making its iconic Silverado pickup trucks in central Mexico’s Guanajuato state. Cadillac SUVs that retail for $40,000 roll off the assembly line here in the sprawling industrial parks west of Monterrey. Audi has announced that it will put its new $1.3 billion North American plant in the state of Puebla — it will be the first time luxury vehicles will be built in Mexico.

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