Mexico’s auto production sinks 10.9% in March; exports still on record highs
In what can be read as a measure to adjust inventories in the U.S. market, automakers established in Mexico built 10.9% less vehicles during March totaling 331,109 cars and light trucks. The fall was so steep that even the overall first quarter production saw a negative variation of 0.4% despite record figures in the first two months of 2018.
From January through March, a total 963,216 cars and light trucks rolled out of assembly plants installed in Mexico, compared to 966,982 units in the first quarter of 2017.
That was not the case for exports, last month 327,955 vehicles were shipped mostly to the U.S., but also to markets in South America, Asia and Europe. Such figure represents a 7.5% increase compared to auto exports during March 2017 and a record figure for a third month of the year.
Total auto exports during the first quarter was of 835,023 units, up 8.1% compared to the 772,299 vehicles exported during the same period of 2017.
During March 223,321 vehicles were shipped to the U.S. market, representing a 68.1% of total exports. That volume represents a 1.1% decline compared to the same month of 2017 when Mexico shipped 225,741 units, which was a 74% share of the country’s total exports.
According to Ward’s Auto, 4,093,120 light vehicles were sold in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2018, up 2.1% compared to the same period of 2017. Mexico-made vehicles accounted for 13.6% of the total sold in the United States during March, while in the first quarter the share was of 14.6%.
Exports to Canada also declined 6.8% to 22,772 vehicles during March. Mexico’s second most important auto market received 6.9% of the country’s exports.
Germany took hold of third place of Mexico’s main auto exports destinations with 16,171 vehicles, a 28.1% hike compared to shipments of March 2017 and a 4.9% share of Mexico’s total auto exports.
The list is completed with Brazil, where Mexico exported 11,902 vehicles during March, a volume increase of 122.3% and a 3.6% share; Argentina with 7,610 units, up 77.5% and a 2.3% share; Colombia with 5,982 cars and light trucks, a 7.9% jump and 1.8% share, and Italia with 5,435 units and a 1.7% share.