The automotive manufacturing industry has been the subject of some big news stories in Mexico in the past year, but the main theme has been passenger vehicles.
Yet there have been some huge gains made in the production of heavy trucks and buses: in the first five months of this year exports totaled 71,808 units, up a whopping 50% over the same period last year.
The growth is expected to continue through the rest of the year. The National Association of Bus, Truck and Tractor Manufacturers, ANPACT, predicts exports will reach 170,000 units for the year.
Strong demand for heavy vehicles in the U.S., where 83% of Mexico’s production goes, is responsible for the growth. ANPACT president Miguel Elizalde says Mexico’s free-trade agreements have also benefited the industry by opening new markets.
“Twenty years ago,” he said, “1,000 heavy vehicles were exported [per year]; 20 years later we’re exporting more than 120,000 a year and in 2015 we will break the export record.”
Mexico’s share of North American production has risen from 17% 10 years ago to 35% today. Tractor-trucks dominate the production and export numbers, putting this country a close second place behind Germany in world production. There is a difference of fewer than 2,000 units between them.
That, says Elizalde, “speaks to the quality of the Mexican products, all of which comply with all the strictest security and environmental regulations . . . .”
There are nine bus and truck manufacturing plants in Mexico, six of which are dedicated to export, sending their vehicles to Canada, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama in addition to the U.S.
The only sour note for the industry is the domestic market, which remains in the doldrums due to competition from used U.S. imports and lack of accessibility to financing by small business in Mexico, said Elizalde.
July’s sales totaled 3,127 units, about the same number as July 2014. Annual sales today are 30% below what they were in 2007.
– Source: http://mexiconewsdaily.com/
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