Mexico’s auto sales sink 13.4% in March due in part to Easter holiday
High interest and inflation rates, as well as the Easter holiday, which last year was held in April, were the main factor that contributed to the steep fall of 13.4% in auto sales in Mexico during March, totaling 118,600 units, according to data from the Mexican Auto Dealers Association (AMDA). Auto sales during the first quarter were of 337,229 vehicles, which represents a decrease of 10.8% compared to the same period of the previous year.
According to Guillermo Rosales, head of AMDA, due to its religious relevance, the Easter holiday represents up to five less days of sales for auto dealers in Mexico.
Japanese automaker Nissan, the best-selling brand in Mexico with a 23.8% market share on a year-to-date basis, saw its sales sink 23.6% to 28,463 vehicles. Its year-to-date sales totaled 80,160 units through March, representing a 16.5% decrease.
Volkswagen, now second best-selling carmaker in the country with a 14.2% market share, including its Audi, Porsche and Seat brands, posted a 21.3% drop in sales to 16,164 units. Year-to-date sales by the German automaker totaled 47,905 vehicles, down 18.6%.
General Motors, which now holds a 13% market share on a year-to-date basis, sold 19,628 vehicles in March for a 18.3% decline. Its year-to-date sales of 43,805 units through March represent a 29.1% drop.
Toyota (7.6% market share) sold 8,316 vehicles in March for a 12.9% decline. Its year-to-date sales totaled 25,742 units, which represents a flat result compared to the first quarter of 2017.
The aggressive sales strategy keeps bringing up good results to KIA, which is already the fifth best-selling brand in the country with a 6.9% market share. The Korean automaker sold 7,663 units last month for a 12.5% hike. KIA’s year-to-date sale totaled 23,201 vehicles, which represents a 22.1% increase.
Honda (6.8% market share) also saw its sales increase 4.1% to 7,501 vehicles, while its year-to-date deliveries were of 22,973 units, up 4.4%. Honda figures do not include those of its premium brand Acura, which sold 153 vehicles in March and totaled 441 in the first quarter, representing drops of 23.9% and 22.2% respectively.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (6.5% market share) marketed 7,280 vehicles in March, down 13.7% compared to same month of the previous year. Its year-to-date sales dropped 16.2% to 21,879 units.
Ford Motor Co. (5.4%) sold 5,856 units in March for total year-to-date sales of 18,344 vehicles, representing decreases of 15% and 12.5% respectively. Ford figures do not include those of its Lincoln brand, which marketed 176 units in March for total year-to-date sales of 536 vehicles, with double-digit hikes of 45.5% and 21.8% respectively.
Mazda managed to remain on black figures with sales of 4,137 vehicles in March and year-to-date sales of 13,218 units, representing gains of 1.9% and 4.6% respectively.
Following the path of KIA but with nearly half of units marketed, Hyundai also saw a two-digit increase in sales of 13.5% to 4,003 vehicles in March. Its year-to-date sales totaled 11,815 cars and SUVs, representing a 17% hike.
The market among premium automakers keeps growing at stable pace with BMW leading with a 13.7% sales increase in March to 1,600 cars and SUVs. Its year-to-date sales are now of 4,745 vehicles for a 22.5% jump.
Mercedes-Benz saw its sales decline 12.3% in March to 1,450 vehicles, for total year-to-date sales of 4,319 units, up 0.7%. It’s worth noting that the German automaker does not report sales of certain high-end SUVs since November 2012 concerning security reasons.
Audi sold 1,068 cars and SUVs in March for total year-to-date sales of 3,415 units, representing a 6.9% increase in both scenarios.