Argentina’s industrial heyday was the immediate post-World ar WII period, when Juan Domingo Perón invested vast sums in manufacturing products such as steel, chemicals, and petrochemicals; the military controlled large parts of the economy, including its own weapons-manufacture and support industries.
Despite the privatizations of the 1990s, much of Argentine industry is still inefficient and unable to compete without state assistance—or cronyism. In the aftermath of the 2002 economic meltdown, frustrated unemployed workers occupied some factories that had closed, and began to run them as cooperatives. Some were successful, at least in the short term, and others were not. In the absence of capital investment, the long-term prognosis for low-productivity installations was not good.
Accounting for about a third of GDP, industry includes food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles, printing, metallurgy, and steel. Much of this activity is concentrated in the southern Buenos Aires suburbs of Avellaneda and Quilmes, across the Riachuelo, and in large cities like Rosario, Córdoba, and Mendoza.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition