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Automotive industry in Mexico - statistics & facts

With its origins dating back to the early 1900s, Mexico’s automotive industry has since made impressive progress towards establishing itself as a globally competitive manufacturer. In 2019, the North American country was among the largest motor vehicle producers in the world , and the leader in the Latin American region. Despite facing a drastic drop in its automobile production value in April and May 2020, a result of lockdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, Mexico’s auto industry has since experienced a steady recovery. Nevertheless, it might take up five years to get back to the light vehicle output registered in 2019.

A home to the largest companies worldwide

As auto companies expanded internationally, Mexico became the manufacturing home to many of the leading car brands worldwide, such as “the American Big Three” (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler), along with German Volkswagen, Japanese Nissan, and South Korean Kia. And while Ford remains the longest-running brand in the country, nowadays the light vehicle production in Mexico is dominated by General Motors and Nissan. In 2019, these two brands combined accounted for more than four out of every ten light vehicles produced in the country. Perhaps unsurprisingly, in a market dominated by international brands, the annual foreign direct investment in the automotive industry in Mexico has remained above five billion U.S. dollars in recent years. Despite the large multinational participation, this industry has played a significant role in driving the local economy, generating around 100 thousand jobs in the vehicle manufacturing sector alone.

North American trading partnership

In the first eight months of 2020, the North American continent was the main destination of Mexico’s light vehicle exports, representing nearly 90 percent of its export value. Meanwhile, the United States leads by far as the main country of origin to its southern neighbor’s auto imports, signaling an extremely strong yet co-dependent auto trade partnership. And regardless of the continual increase in imports reported in recent years, Mexico’s automotive industry has maintained a positive trade balance throughout the past decade. With the implementation of the USMCA trade agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada in June 2020 – which renewed previously established free trade regulations between the North American neighbors – the partnership already observed for the automotive industry in these three countries is expected to be even further developed in this new era.

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Automotive industry in Mexico

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