After another week of ministerial meetings between NAFTA members, no agreement was reached. Time is running out as elections in all member countries approach. By the end of the week, Mexico proposed that 20 percent of all regional content should come from high-salary areas rather than the 40 percent that the US originally proposed. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said negotiations have not only fallen behind but in some areas have even reversed, while US President Donald Trump demanded automakers boost production in the US.

Meanwhile, in Mexico, Kia reached a total output of 417,000 vehicles in its Pesqueria plant two years after arriving to the country. Continental opened a new R&D center oriented to self-driving technology in Queretaro and Nissan announced it is betting on the Infiniti QX50 (produced in Aguascalientes) to reach its global sales target.

Mexico Automotive Review also tested the Kia Sportage this week. What did our drivers make of this SUV and how did it fare in Mexico City’s traffic? Find out here.

Buckle up! Here’s your weekly roundup:

NAFTA Agreement Delayed, Again

After the eighth informal meeting between ministers, the US wants to close NAFTA negotiations soon but will not concede on any of its proposals.

US President Donald Trump demanded automakers increase their local production. Companies responded by calling for California emissions standards to be upheld.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said NAFTA 2.0 negotiations have lagged and even reversed.

Mexico softened its position on rules of origin and proposed that not 40 but 20 percent of all content comes from regions with high salaries.

KIA Sportage Rims by Luis Pesce, MBP

Mexico’s Automotive Momentum

Two years after Kia started operations in Pesqueria, the brand has built 417,000 vehicles.

Continental will develop technology for self-driving vehicles in its new R&D center in Queretaro after an investment of US$50 million.

Nissan bets on Mexico-produced Infiniti QX50 SUV to stop its sales drop and reach its global goals.

BAIC Motors plans to expand its distribution network by 60 percent in Mexico with 12 new dealerships.

Daimler México boosted its output 4.3 percent in 1Q18 with 1,835 units produced.

After Torben Eckardt was promoted in Sweden, Raymundo Cavazos, former Director General of Harley-Davidson México, became the new Director General of Volvo Cars México.

International Automotive Trends

Following a 31-percent drop in sales in China, Hyundai plans to strengthen its design team and make its vehicles more attractive to younger people.

Rises in the price of aluminum could hit Nemak as the company specializes in the production of aluminum auto parts.

 

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

 

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