Hot-selling imported cars and trucks pushed the Mexican vehicle market ahead by more than 30 percent in July.
The industry reported 67,509 sales for the month, a gain of more than 16,000 over July 1999.
Sales of imports rose 56 percent for the month and accounted for 42 percent of the total new-vehicle market. In July 1999, imported vehicles claimed 36 percent of total sales. The ongoing shift reflects Mexico's more open market in contrast to years past, when most new vehicles were built in local factories. The July gains were due largely to the demand for models from the United States.
General Motors sold 6,230 imported light trucks in Mexico during the month, compared with 3,486 a year earlier. At the same time, sales of imported GM cars rose 140 percent in July.
Nissan's U.S.-made Xterra sport-utility delivered a 188 percent jump in imported truck sales in the market. At the same time, Volkswagen retailers sold 5,994 imported cars for the month, gaining 170 percent over their July 1999 volume.
VW has been increasing its import of cars from Brazil for the past year. The success helped move the automaker into Mexico's No. 2 sales slot behind GM.
But VW's local production fell 4 percent in July as it slowed output of the export-oriented New Beetle. In its place, the company has been stepping up Mexican output of the Jetta for export.
Overall factory volumes reached 149,014 in July, a 35 percent rise over the 110,069 vehicles built in July 1999.
The July surge also pushed Mexican production for the year past the 1 million mark, to 1,058,011.