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Mexico: a big market for small cars

In 2016, over 1.6 million vehicles were sold in Mexico, an 18.6 percent increase over 2015. The big winner in the car business is KIA, but Nissan remains king with a 25 percent market share.

The Mexican new vehicle market has doubled since 2010, when just over 820,000 units were registered. After having slowed down between 2011 and 2015, the growth rate has picked up the pace again in 2016. The first four months of 2017 indicate a flattening of the curve: between January and April, Mexicans bought 493,000 new vehicles, showing that the market is still eager, but no longer smoking hot.

Nissan holds an enviable position, selling just over 400,000 vehicles last year – an all-time record crowning an 8-year growth period. All of its best-selling models are manufactured in Mexico. The same goes for General Motors, which put 300,000-odd new vehicles onto Mexican roads (a market share of 19%), and Volkswagen, which shifted a quarter million units (15%).

Subcompact petrol cars rule
Typical for the car market in Mexico is that it is dominated by subcompact sedans (37 percent), such as the undisputedly best-selling Nissan Versa sedan and the Chevrolet Aveo. Compacts like the Volkswagen Vento and the Nissan Sentra take up 23 percent of the market, SUVs 21 percent. Only one in twenty cars sold belong to the luxury segment.

Petrol is by far the most widespread fuel – diesel represents just 8 percent of the new vehicle sales and is restricted to commercial vehicles. The average CO2 emissions for passenger cars is 199 g/km. Regarding hybrids and EVs: with a market share of 1 percent, Mexico is still in an early stage of adopting green alternatives. EV pioneer Nissan, for instance, delivered 270-odd Leaf last year, while hybrid specialist Toyota sold 3,800 hybrids to Mexico City taxi companies.  
 
That indicates a positive trend, which might accelerate in view of the rising fuel prices and, more importantly, the anti-pollution measures taken by the capital – the most congested city in the world. When the air quality is poor, vehicles can only be driven for a limited number of days per week. Exempt from this car ban are hybrids (registered as from 2015) and electric vehicles, which become increasingly interesting for companies to assure mobility.   

Steady fleet sales
In 2015, vehicle sales to corporations grew to 20 percent of the total market in Mexico, triggered by increased international investment in vehicle production sites, the output of which is mainly destined for the U.S. However, the fleet market grew less quickly than the retail market. This can be explained by the fact that more private buyers gained access to credit than before.   12/06/2017  |  Dieter Quartier


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