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Case Study Manufacturing ICON Aircraft A5 in Mexico


The manufacturer of carbon fiber amphibious airplane that brought a revolution to flying, decided to produce its own composite components, a manufacturing process that was previously outsourced to several suppliers. Their new Tijuana plant focuses on just that while working together with their Vacaville, California headquarters.  Companies like ICON are seeing manufacturing in Mexico as collaborative venture allowing for greater oversight in addition to the cost savings of nearshore production. 

Innovating, Investing and Creating Jobs

icon aircraft manufacturing mexico cpi

ICON has made a significant investment in its Mexico manufacturing facility. The economic impact is over $150M over the next 10 years. In addition, ICON will leverage this location to develop Mexican business partners and qualified suppliers for other aircraft components.

ICON is planning to employ 1,000 people over the next three years as they ramp up production to meet demand for their innovative A5 aircraft. Universities and technical training schools in Baja California offer advanced engineering degrees, as well as work directly with manufacturers to develop training and curriculum based on industry needs.


"By bringing composite fabrication in-house, we are able to ensure that components meet ICON’s strict quality and cost standards while also allowing us to more rapidly implement changes as we continue to improve our processes. As a result, we will improve the efficiency of the manufacturing process and supply chain to deliver a superior product." - Kirk Hawkins, CEO & Founder

Working with CPI is the Most Cost-Effective Way to Expand

CPI’s Maquiladora Program: The Most Cost-Effective Way to Expand

Working with an administrative and shelter services provider in Mexico is the new best practice for moving production outside of the United States. It’s cost effective and has worked for forty years. Manufacturers who utilize CPI’s Shelter Programs are able to minimize risk and exposure, get up and running quickly and cost effectively by utilizing CPI’s existing permits and certifications, all while having a team of experts get you through the entire process.

"After a thorough search of shelter companies in Mexico, ICON selected CPI because of their local expertise and cultural fit with ICON.  CPI demonstrated they understood the keys to ICON’s success in Mexico and that they could execute quickly given ICON accelerated timeline."

"ICON looked at Tijuana, Mexicali, and Juarez. We selected Tijuana due to the strong pool of talent, industrial infrastructure, and proximity to our California headquarters."

Download ICON Aircraft Manufacturing Case Study document in PDF

Meeting Demand Leads to Manufacturing ICON A5 in Mexico

Take a look at ICON's experience when evaluating the manufacturing expansion and setting up production in Mexico.

A conversation with Thomas Wieners, VP of Manufacturing, ICON Aircraft

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