In 2018, Mexico hiked from sixth to fourth position in the rank of biggest car exporters worldwide in terms of value, says a report by El Economista citing figures from the World Trade Organization (WTO).

According to the piece, the value of Mexico’s auto exports totaled US$49.4 billion last year, which represents a 19% jump compared to the US$41.7 billion from 2017. With those figures Mexico surpassed the US$42 billion in auto exports by the United Kingdom and the US$41 billion from Canada, which in 2017 held the fifth and fourth position respectively.

The ranking is still headed by Germany which exported US$154.7 billion worth of cars, even though the figure is 2% lower compared to 2017. Japan followed with US$99.1 billion – up 6% – while the U.S. ended third with US$51.4 billion, down 4%.

The list is completed with South Korea in seventh position with US$38.2 billion in auto exports, Spain with US$35.5 billion, Belgium with US$34.2 billion and France with US$25.2 billion.

Even though the piece does not mention it, the hike in the value of Mexico auto exports could be attributed in great part to the reconfiguration of General Motor’s production footprint in the country, which during the last few years has shifted away from sedans and compact cars to focus on SUVs and crossovers.

Another factor that undoubtedly influenced was the opening of the Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Aguascalientes (COMPAS), which since the end of 2017 has been churning out Infiniti QX50 SUVs and since mid-2018 also builds Mercedes-Benz A Class sedans.

Top ten auto exporters

Country                      2018       2017

1 Germany                154.7      157.4

2 Japan                      99.1        93.4

3 United States          51.4        53.6

4 Mexico                    49.4        41.7

5 U.K.                         42.0        41.9

6 Canada                   41.0        46.4

7 South Korea           38.2        38.8

8 Spain                      35.5        35.8

9 Belgium                  34.2        33.1

10 France                   25.2        22.1

Figures in USD billions, Source: WTO

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