New auto sales in Mexico dipped again in July as several leading models stumbled. The retail industry sold 51,513 new cars and trucks for the month, a 7 percent decline from July 1998 and a difference of about 4,000 vehicles.
Truck sales, which have been a strong part of Mexico's growth this year, dropped by 8 percent from a year ago. Car sales were down almost 7 percent for the month.
There were several hiccups among Mexico's biggest-selling products, most produced domestically. General Motors' industry-leading Joy/Swing models declined by 26 percent to 4,083 units in July, falling by nearly 1,500 sales from July 1998.
That bumped the line into second place behind Nissan's Tsuru model, which sold 4,899 units. The Tsuru itself fell several hundred sales short of July 1998 levels, while the Sentra was also down marginally. Volkswagen saw sales volume slip for both the Beetle and the Jetta.
At the same time, sales of imported cars rose for the month. A key factor was DaimlerChrysler's shift in Neon production from Mexico to the United States. Sales of imported trucks fell 20 percent in July, reversing a recent trend.
Export shipments of Mexican-made vehicles boomed for the month, rising 39 percent over July 1998. Thanks to an 81 percent rise in Volkswagen's exports of New Beetles and Jettas, Mexico showed a major gain in car exports for the month. GM's increased production of big trucks in Mexico pushed up industry numbers for truck exports.
In all, Mexico's factories built 110,132 cars and trucks in July, nearly 17 percent over July 1998. Exports accounted for 81,864 of those units, while local production accounted for 28,268.