Mexican auto sales continued to climb in May as all five major automakers reported gains. Total sales were up 58.8 percent from May 1996.
Nissan led the market with May sales of 10,158 vehicles - a 184 percent gain over May 1996. Its small Tsuru widened its lead as the best-selling vehicle in Mexico. Five-month sales for the Tsuru jumped to 15,222, up from 7,048 in the first five months of 1996.
General Motors was second in May but remained the market leader for the year to date with 45,406 vehicles sold.
Ford saw sales of 5,861 vehicles for the month, a 27 percent gain over May 1996. Contour sales more than doubled their 1996 total, but the Mystique declined 12 percent.
Arturo Munoz, general director of Ford's Mexican dealer association, warned that a shortage of product will probably hurt June sales results.
Chrysler sales were up in May, the first year-to-year gain this year. The company posted a 63 percent increase for the month. A Chrysler representative in Mexico said the company expects a new finance plan to continue to boost sales in coming months.
Fifth-place Volkswagen is far from its stated goal of capturing first-place in the market this year. May sales of 4,755 brought the five-month total to 22,002.
Meanwhile, Mexico's auto factories increased output for the local market more than 68 percent in May. Their production for export markets declined 8.7 percent.
But export production for five months was 417,139 vs. Mexico output of 88,982.