Mexico sets records for car production and exports in January image

Mexico set auto production and export records in January, as its output of cars and light trucks rose 20 percent compared with January 2012 to 242,855 units.

The Mexican Automobile Industry Association (AMIA) said on Thursday that exports rose 14 percent to a record 178,562 vehicles, with increased shipments to most key markets except Brazil and Argentina, which set up import quotas last year. Mexico’s vehicle production and exports were a record for any January and follow a record year in 2012. The Latin American country has grown recently as an auto-export platform to the United States and other markets.

Mexico’s auto exports to the U.S. rose 32 percent in January, while exports to Latin America dropped 56 percent due to the import quotas introduced in the region’s biggest markets. Car shipments to Canada, Europe, Asia and Africa posted gains last month.

As for its domestic market, auto sales in January rose 12 percent to 84,267 vehicles, a similar level to 2003. AMIA’s boss, Eduardo Solis, said cheap used cars from the U.S. continue to enter Mexico, bringing prices down in the country’s used car market. This affects the new car sales as well, as it makes it harder for potential buyers of new cars to sell their used automobiles at a competitive price.