Mexico auto production surges in Q1
Donald Trump may have announced in January that he would impose an import tax on all things Mexican-made, that did not stop the Mexican auto industry from thriving as never before. In the first three months of the year, production jumped 17 percent, while exports increased by an impressive 44 percent. Moreover, local light-vehicle sales rose nearly 9 percent over the same period last year (source: Automotive News).
The increase is partly the result of new factories getting up to speed, not least the one of Kia in Monterrey. Foreign carmakers produced over 943,000 new cars and light trucks between January 1st and March 31st. 750,000 units were exported, versus 657,000 in Q1 2016. Roughly 76 percent, i.e. 568,000 of them crossed the border with the U.S.A. This number represents 14 percent of all new light vehicles bought in the States.
Mexican automotive industry association AMIA expects the output to further increase over the next years, as Audi’s new Puebla factory is ramping up its capacity and even more assembly sites will open. The next addition to the long list of OEMs settling in Mexico is BMW, which was not pushed by Trump's threats into reconsidering building an assembly site in San Luis Potosí. Moreover, the renegotiation of NAFTA is likely to be less aggressive than initially suggested. | 13/06/2017 | Dieter Quartier