Mexico: production and export expect to reach new record highs in 2012
Nissan, Honda, Mazda, and Audi will each build new plants
Mexico is among the major production sites of vehicles in the Americas and is stepping up its presence as an export hub for not only North and South America but also countries worldwide.
In 2011, Mexico produced a record high of 2.56 million vehicles and exported 2.14 million units, which was also a new record. In 2012, production and exports are expected to further increase by at least 8% year-on-year to hit new record highs (AMIA (ASOCIACION MEXICANA DE LA INDUSTRIA AUTOMOTRIZ), announced in July). Production volume is also estimated to grow to 3 million in 2015 and further to more than 4 million in 2017.
Sales volume in Mexico was up by 10% year-on-year to 904,000 units in 2011, but grew at a sluggish pace and did not return to the level - more than 1 million - before the recession in 2008. The 2012 sales are estimated to be 900,000-1 million units.
Mexico has a geographical advantage for exporting products to both North and South America and has concluded free trade agreements with 44 countries and already has a supply chain by suppliers, which increasingly attract new investment by OEMs.
Among Japanese OEMs, Nissan, Honda, and Mazda will each build a new plant that is capable of producing 175,000, 200,000, and 140,000 units a year, respectively, in order to start operations in 2013-2014. Among European OEMs, Audi in the VW Group will build a new plant that is capable of producing 150,000 units a year, with plans to start operations in 2016.
Since the beginning of 2012, a friction has developed between Mexico and two important export destinations, Brazil and Argentina, over the Auto Pact with Mexico; this may adversely affect production and export by each OEM in the future.