Last December, global automakers with operations in Mexico exported 275,045 light vehicles, which is a record volume for a last month of the year and a 2.3% increase compared to same period of 2017, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).
Same data suggests that, during 2018, a record 3,449,201 Mexico-made cars and light trucks were shipped overseas, 6% more vehicles compared to the previous year. These figures place Mexico in the fourth position among the largest auto exporters in the World.
It’s worth noting that Inegi data still do not take into account exports of Mercedes-Benz, which since last September has been manufacturing A Class sedans at the Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Aguascalientes (COMPAS), co-owned by Daimler and Nissan.
Exports to the United States, the main market for auto production in Mexico, totaled 2,566,701 units in 2018, representing a 9.9% rise versus 2017 figures and accounting for 74.4% of total shipments.
The market share of Mexico-made vehicles in the U.S. was of 14.8% in 2018, considering auto sales totaled 17.33 million units.
Canada, second most important destination, imported 248,557 Mexico-made vehicles. This figure is actually 7% lower compared to the previous year and represents a 7.2% share of Mexican exports, down from 8.2% in 2017.
Third most important destination was Germany, to where auto plants in Mexico exported 150,438 units, which is a 55.5% hike and represents 4.4% of total.
General Motors, the largest automaker in Mexico, exported 811,954 vehicles in 2018, a 17% hike compared to 2017. FCA exports increased 5.3% to 630,967 units. Nissan followed with 496,333 cars, which represents a 5.8% gain.
Korean automaker Kia posted the biggest hike, of 41.5% on exports of 231,695 units.
On the other hand, Honda saw its exports sink 30% to 130,542 vehicles due to a 4-month shutdown at its Celaya plant caused by a flood.
Another company that saw its exports decline was Ford, which produces only sedans at its two plants in Mexico. The demand for such vehicles has been downwards in the US market in the last two years. Exports of the Dearborn automaker dropped 11.2% to 273,009 vehicles.