Gathering Team Member
- Jul 13, 2011
Buffett’s BNSF Seeks Toehold in Mexico as Rivals Tap Boom
When Mexico’s auto production began accelerating in the last decade, Warren Buffett’s BNSF Railway Co. lacked an essential element for winning customers: tracks in the right places.
Union Pacific Corp. (UNP) and Kansas CitySouthern reaped most of the gains as the value of U.S.-Mexico rail trade soared almost 50 percent since 2008. Now, BNSF is trying to grab more business with a new route in partnership with Mexico’s Ferromex to connect the country’s car-assembly heartland withChicago.
The alliance shows how North America’s largest railroad by sales is trying to catch rivals whose lines offer greater access to Mexico. Investment by foreign automakers and other companies is boosting freight volumes, helping increase U.S.-Mexico trade by 5.3 percent in 2014, outstripping the pace of economic expansion in both countries.