Mexico production and exports fall in July

Total car and truck production in Mexico dropped 12.5 percent in July to 130,338 units, compared with the same month a year ago, as automakers put the brakes on vehicles to be exported.

Export vehicle production dropped 11.3 percent in July to 103,269 units, according to the Mexican Automotive Industry Association.

Cars took the bigger hit, down 15.3 percent for the month, while truck output fell 3.8 percent compared with July 2000.

Production for the Mexican market also fell in July, down 17 percent to 27,069 units.

Through seven months of this year, total vehicle production in Mexico stood at 1,059,116 units, up 0.1 percent from the same period in 2000. Total export production for that period was down 1.2 percent to 800,801 units, while production for Mexico was up 4.4 percent to 258,315 units.

Mexican sales, on the other hand, continue to post gains over last year, according to the association.

Sales in July totaled 73,915 units, up 9.5 percent compared with July 2000. Since the start of this year, sales are up 10.4 percent to 502,934 units.

Much of that gain is being driven by sales of imported cars, which were up 57.7 percent in July to 26,378 units. For the year to date, import car sales are up 39.5 percent to 166,949 units.

Ford, Nissan and Volkswagen are the only manufacturers who haven’t seen double-digit percentage gains in Mexican import car sales this year. Ford’s year-to-date import car sales are up 4.2 percent through July, while Nissan’s are down 3.8 percent and Volkswagen’s are down 1.9 percent.

BMW sales in Mexico are up 58.1 percent since the start of this year, DaimlerChrysler has seen sales rise 28.9 percent and Nissan has posted a 14.4 percent gain.

Among domestically produced nameplates, sales of the Volkswagen New Beetle are up 138.4 percent through the end of July, compared with the same period last year.

Honda Accord sales are up 3.9 percent, while Nissan has posted gains for the Tsuru, up 20.3 percent, and the Sentra, up 33.3 percent, for the year to date.

Sales of the Chrysler PT Cruiser dropped 74.9 percent in July to 102 units, and sales are down 21.7 percent to 1,136 units for the year to date.

Production of PT Cruisers for export, on the other hand, rose 34.2 percent in July to 19,512 units, and stands at 120,321 units for the year to date, a 114.1 percent improvement over the year-ago period.

General Motors cranked out 14,695 units of the 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche truck in July for export and 5,385 copies of the Buick Rendezvous. So far this year, GM has built 34,332 copies of the Avalanche and 21,391 copies of the Rendezvous.

Production of the Pontiac Aztek fell 75.6 percent in July to 1,103 units. For the year to date, GM has built 9,314 Azteks, a 44.8 percent increase over the same period last year.

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