It was a difficult week for the Mexican automotive industry. Not only did domestic sales dropped in March by 1.5 percent but also US President Donald Trump threatened to apply tariffs to Mexico-made vehicles. In a tweet, President Trump said the US could use tariffs as an economic penalty for US$500 billion worth of illegal drugs smuggled through the US-Mexico border.

The Mexican Minister of Economy, Graciela Márquez Colín, warned that Mexico could sue if the US government decided to close the border entirely and Moisés Zavaleta, who represented the Ministry of Economy during the negotiations of USMCA’s rules of origin, said Mexico is protected against a possible 25-percent tariff on its vehicles thanks to a letter signed during the negotiations of USMCA.

Despite another month of depressed sales, the Mexican new vehicle market can rest assured that it will remain protected from imported used cars. President López Obrador has decided to push the ordinance that regulates imports of used vehicles until December 2019. In other news, Mazda and Mercedes-Benz were recognized by J.D. Power as the brands that offer the highest customer satisfaction to Mexican buyers, while Nissan, GM and Ford account for more than half of Mexico’s vehicle exports.

Mazda MX-5 RF, stupenda roadster nipponica con tettuccio rigido ma semovente by Automobile Italia. CC BY 2.0

The road is clear. Go ahead!

New Trade Threats Despite USMCA

President Trump threatened to impose tariffs of 25 percent on Mexico-made vehicles.

According to Graciela Márquez Colín, Mexico’s Minister of Economy, if the US decided to close its southern border, Mexico could sue.

Advancing the Automotive Industry

Sales of new vehicles in Mexico fell 1.5 percent in March with only 117,122 cars sold. According to AMDA, investor uncertainty and a deceleration in economic activity are some of the causes for this decrease.

Nissan plans to boost sales of electrified vehicles in the Bajio region. 180 electric and hybrid units were sold in the region in November 2018.

Vehicle distributors represented by AMDA applauded President López Obrador’s decision not to legalize imported used cars from the US.

According to AMDA, commercial banks and financing companies have become more attractive than OEMs’ financing branches for car buyers looking to purchase cars on credit.

Electric Car Chargers at Ikea by Iynn Dmbrowski. CC BY-SA 2.0

Mazda and Mercedes-Benz deliver the highest client satisfaction to car buyers, according to J.D. Power. It is the second consecutive year that Mazda leads this ranking.

Kia and Hyundai vehicles will be investigated for reported accidental fires. The US government has received thousands of complaints about these cases.

The European Commission has accused BMW, Daimler and VW of creating a cartel to limit the development of lower-emissions technologies.

By 2022, all vehicles in Europe will need to have a system that limits their speed in order to meet regulations.

According to Continental, self-driving vehicles will quadruple software revenue to US$1.2 trillion by 2030. The need for advanced safety features in these cars will drive this growth.

Mexico’s Automotive Drive

Ford, GM and Nissan lead Mexico’s exports. These OEMs account for 54 percent of the country’s vehicle exports to the US.

The construction of a new Toyota assembly plant has caused speculation and a surge in land value in Corregidora, Queretaro.

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

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