After 19 months with year-on-year drops, last January, sales of new cars in Mexico increased 1.9% to 111,212 units, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).
Nissan, the brand with the highest sales volume, posted a 11.7% decrease. However, General Motors increased its sales by 106%, from 8,807 units sold in January 2018 to 18,222 vehicles in the same month of 2019.
Other brands that also increased their sales were KIA with 1%; Mazda, 8.3%; SEAT, 23.3% and Suzuki, 25.3%.
Among premium brands, BMW grew 0.9%, Mercedes Benz 8.4% and Volvo 28.4%.
Car dealers expected the year to start with negative results, but sales were surprisingly better than expected.
Guillermo Rosales, deputy general director of the Mexican Association of Auto Dealers (AMDA for its acronym in Spanish), said that out of the eight leading brands in the market, which together represent 80% of market share, only two reported positive results: KIA and General Motors.
Another factor that influenced the result was the delayed sales among consumers in the northern border of the country who did not buy vehicles during the last months of 2018, pending the fiscal stimulus program announced by the new government to reduce the tax rate of the Added Value from 16% to 8%.
Still, car dealers believe that the negative outlook on sales will remain throughout the year, as indicated by the majority of the auto makers in the market.
Volkswagen sales decreased 12.4%; those of Ford, 21.8%; Fiat Chrysler, 10.6%; Honda, 17%; and Toyota reported a 3.3% drop.