During 2018, General Motors rose to first place as the biggest producer and exporter of vehicles in Mexico after displacing Nissan from the top for the first time in recent history, according to a report by the GM Authority.
From January “through November, production volume at the three GM Mexico assembly plants totaled 801,163 units, an increase of 67,000 units compared to the same period of 2017. By comparison, Nissan manufactured 717,108 vehicles across its four Mexican factories during the same time frame, a decrease of almost 71,000 units compared to the first 11 months of 2017,” says the GM Authority report, citing the Inegi figures as source.
“The increase in local production means that GM is now the largest exporter of automobiles in Mexico, having exported 693,782 units so far in 2018,” the article says.
This change in the ranking is attributable to large investments made by GM in recent years to reconfigure its plants and focus on producing more light trucks and crossovers, while the Japanese automaker maintained the production of sedans and compact vehicles at its Mexican facilities.
GM has three assembly plants in Mexico. Two of them, Ramos Arizpe and San Luis Potosi, moved from the production of cars like the Aveo and the Sonic to utility vehicles such as the GMC Terrain and the Chevrolet Equinox, which are currently highly demanded in the US market.
Meanwhile, the plant in Silao, Guanajuato, has been producing Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups for years.
Nissan also operates three assembly plants under this brand, of which only one produces medium pickups, but they are only sold in Mexico and South America. The only Nissan plant that produces SUVs in Mexico is one that operates in partnership with Daimler, in which it manufactures the Infiniti QX50.