MEXICO CITY - The Mexican market posted a stronger than usual gain in March. Vehicle sales climbed 90.3 percent - the biggest monthly increase since last August.
'We expect sales over 600,000 units this year,' says Fausto Cuevas, general director of the Mexican Automotive Industry Association. That would put sales close to the levels of 1994, before Mexico's economic collapse.
Most Mexican consumers are buying subcompact and compact cars. But nearly all segments are doing well. Thirty-month finance plans with zero interest rates are helping keep sales strong.
For the first three months of the year, the Mexican market has risen 63.1 percent. Last year, the market gained 44.5 percent.
Among Mexico's major automakers, Nissan had the biggest increase in March, up 123.5 percent. Volkswagen sales also more than doubled.
Overall production rose 36.9 percent over March 1997 levels. Output for exports rose 30.7 percent, and production for the local market gained 55.1 percent.
For the first quarter, production increased 15.9 percent.