At a time when the US President-elect has shown no mercy to Mexico and its automotive industry, one has to grab on to good news with both hands. Fortunately, good news comes from AMIA’s 2016 closing report showing that both production and exports registered growth.

AMIA’s report came as a breath of fresh air, particularly after Ford’s announcement canceling its new US$1.6 billion site in San Luis Potosi. While it is true that Trump’s tweets have had the Mexican and US automotive industry on edge, Eduardo Solis, Executive President of AMIA, says that Mexico’s manufacturing projections remain as they were because Ford’s production in San Luis Potosi was not considered in the 5-million-unit goal. This could be because Ford also announced an expansion of its plant in Sonora to produce the same model as was planned in SLP.

In total, Mexico manufactured a total of 3.46 million light vehicles in 2016, reaching almost a two-percent growth from the 3.39 million units assembled in 2015. December 2016 on its own registered eight-percent growth from what was registered in 2015, which translates into almost 20,000 more units manufactured.

Though the manufacturing sector registered a rather decent growth, the exports sector was not as privileged registering only a 0.3-percent growth compared to the numbers from 2015. However, December’s interannual growth accounted for a 4.83 percent increase. 

Production figures were boosted by KIA’s 93,107 units produced on its Nuevo Leon site, while positive exports were sustained by Toyota’s, Honda’s and KIA’s positive performance. The US was the largest receptor of Mexican exports, accounting for 77.1 percent of the total exported.

Despite external constraints, light vehicles domestic sales during 2016 increased almost 19.5 percent, growing from 892,270 to 1.06 million units sold. Hyundai, KIA and Toyota were the brands that experienced the most important growth in sales.


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