“Auto makers will continue to invest in Mexico” (LMC Automotive)

Forecasting firm LMC Automotive expects auto makers will continue to invest in Mexico over the next four years despite tariff threats and social media shaming from President Donald Trump. The study said production south of the border for Detroit’s three auto makers will increase through 2020, while production in both Canada and the U.S. is expected to fall. The percentage of Mexico-built vehicles sold in the U.S. is predicted to rise, too, the study said, as capacity investment in Mexico will grow at a much faster rate than in the U.S. The percent of Mexico-built vehicles for sale in the U.S. will grow for nearly all auto makers, LMC said. Ford’s percentage of Mexico-built vehicles for sale in the U.S. will nearly double to about 20% from around 10% today, while GM will see similar gains. Volkswagen A.G.’s percent of Mexico-built vehicles is expected to rise to 40%. The study expects North American production capacity will increase by 3 million units through 2023, and nearly half of that growth will come in Mexico. It says production capacity investment in Mexico will rise 47 percent. Investment in the U.S. will increase 12 percent, while Canada investment will fall 4% over that same stretch of time. The findings come despite recent announcements by Ford, GM, FCA, Hyundai and others about investing in the U.S., and in some cases relocating production back to the U.S.