After 10 consecutive months of contracting sales in Mexico, SUVs, minivans and luxury cars were the only segments that experienced growth in 1Q18. In the first three months of 2018, total light-vehicle sales (337,229 units) have fallen 13.4 percent compared to the same period in 2017 (337,229), according to AMIA. March’s low results were largely impacted by the Easter holidays and the reduced number of workdays, said AMIA.
Despite these falling numbers, some models are still fighting to grow their presence in the market while three brands have managed to retain their leading sales positions in 1Q18. Nissan produces five of Mexico’s 10 best-selling light vehicles (Versa, NP300, March, Sentra 2.0 and KICKS) followed by Volkswagen with two top-sellers (Vento and Jetta), Chevrolet with another two (Aveo and Beat) and Honda with one model (CR-V). Here are the front runners in the Mexican race.
Nissan Versa was the top seller in the compact segment with 22,947 sold units in 1Q18. This car is produced in Nissan’s Aguascalientes and CIVAC plants and was Mexico’s favorite vehicle in 2017 and 2016. After Versa came Nissan NP300, which not only was the second best-selling vehicle in Mexico but also the most sold pickup between January and March 2018 with a total of 18,010 units. In 2017, this made-in-Mexico truck was the second most sold vehicle.
Subcompacts registered the highest number of sold units in this quarter with 40,315 vehicles and sales in the segment were evenly distributed among more brands and vehicles. That being said, Nissan was also the champion in this segment with the March, another vehicle produced in Mexico. Nissan March registered 13,674 sales in 1Q18. Its starting price of MX$150,800 (US$8,000) could be one of the main drivers behind its success.
In the luxury segment, an imported car took the first position in sales. Awarded the “Car of the Year” distinction at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, the Honda Accord led sales in one of the few growing segments of Mexico’s automotive market with 1,659 cars. Honda was also king of sales in the ever-growing SUV segment with 7,071 CR-V units sold in this period.
The sports cars segment was led by Europe-imported, turbocharged bolide SEAT Leon, which registered sales of 749 units. The Leon was able to increase its sales 69.5 percent in 1Q18 compared to the same period of 1Q17 despite the contraction that the sports cars segment suffered. The second and third positions were occupied by US muscle car Ford Mustang and Japanese two-seater Mazda MX-5, respectively.
Finally, the imported Toyota Sienna registered 1,553 sales and was the leader of the minivan segment in the first three months of 2018. Although this segment managed to stay ahead of the market’s contraction, its sales only increased 1.6 percent in 1Q18 compared to 1Q17.