North America could soon reach a long-awaited agreement on automotive rules of origin after the unofficial announcement that the US would drop the proposal that required 50 percent of all components in Canada and Mexico-made vehicles to come from the US. The Canadian and US government as well as representatives of Mexico’s automotive industry expressed optimism as the eighth round of negotiations approaches.

Mexico’s automotive industry keeps on growing despite the stalemate that NAFTA 2.0 negotiations reached and the possibility of US tariffs on steel and aluminum. In February, 6.2 percent more light vehicles were produced in the country and light-vehicle exports increased by 11.2 percent. In the heavy vehicle segment, production grew 4.6 percent in January.

Meanwhile, companies such as Toyota and Uber placed their autonomous vehicles tests on hold after an Uber self-driving vehicle being tested in Arizona hit a woman who died from the sustained injuries. Other companies such as Nissan assure their vehicles are safe and have not stopped tests.

Volkswagen Beetle by Bruno Kussler Marques. CC BY 2.0

National

Grupo Industrial Saltillo plans to invest MX$2.1 billion (US$114.7 million) in 2018. The company will destine up to MX$1.25 billion (US$68.3 million) to its auto parts division.

Seko Logistics opens a new logistics center in Ocoyoacac. The company expects to open 20 offices in Mexico in 2018.

San Luis Potosi and Aguascalientes boost manufacturing growth in the Bajio region.

Chinese car-hailing service provider Didi Chuxing gets ready to compete against Uber in the Mexican market.

Change of plans in rules of origin is a good sign for NAFTA 2.0 negotiations according to Óscar Albin, Executive President of INA.

Production and exports of light vehicles grow 6.2 percent and 11.2 percent respectively in February compared to the same month in 2017.

Heavy-vehicle production grows 4.6 percent in January according to ANPACT.

Vehicle sales in the luxury segment grow 12 percent in February compared to the same period in 2017.

The Mexican automotive industry employed 839,571 people in different subsectors in 2017, a 6.7 percent growth over 2016.

Though NAFTA 2.0 is not finished yet, it is impacting capital funds. These registered an 11 percent drop in investment commitments in 2017.

Volkswagen will stop producing the Beetle in its Puebla plant now that the vehicle will be discontinued.

BMW will be able to produce EVs in its San Luis Potosi plant thanks to flexible production line.

BMW by Dushan Hanuska. CC BY-SA 2.0

International

Woman dies after being hit by an autonomous Uber vehicle undergoing tests. Uber suspended all tests of self-driving vehicles in the region after the incident.

US government allegedly drops proposal on rules of origin that required 50 percent of all components in Canada and Mexico-made vehicles to come from the US.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is optimistic about NAFTA now that negotiators are reaching consensus on topics such as rules of origin.

Headquarters of BMW and Volkswagen were raided by German prosecutors as part of two ongoing emissions-related investigations.

Global trade war related with US tariffs on steel and aluminum was the biggest concern at G20 meeting.

EVs could be less costly than gasoline vehicles by 2025 if cost of lithium batteries keeps going down.

The US expects to reach agreements on automotive rules of origin soon according to Robert Lighthizer.

Nissan plans to sell 1 million EVs annually by 2022 and will not stop testing its self-driving vehicles on public roads.

 

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter at @mexautomotive and @mexautomotriz for the latest industry news.

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