Light-vehicle sales in Mexico took a nosedive last month.
May sales were off 10.5 percent from the year-ago period. Hardest hit were domestic sales, which dipped 23.8 percent.
Sales have seesawed all year. They started down in January, were followed by two straight monthly increases, and have dipped since.
Through five months, sales are off 4.5 percent for the year.
That is worth noting because the Mexican auto industry has been hot, flirting with the 1 million mark the past two years. Unless things turn around quickly, that won't happen this year either.
Volume leader General Motors saw its May sales slide 6.6 percent to 15,934 units. Sales for No. 2 Volkswagen dropped 7.2 percent. Nissan sales dipped 20.6 percent, Ford's were down 7.7 percent and DaimlerChrysler's fell 15.1 percent.
Of those five companies, only VW and Ford can claim sales increases for the first five months of the year. VW sales were up 2.8 percent through May, while Ford sales increased 4.9 percent.
The Nissan Tsuru remains the best-selling vehicle domestically, though at 4,377 units, sales were down 36.7 percent from May 2002.
Sales of VW's Beetle - that's the old body style - continued to tumble, falling 69.5 percent in May and 61.7 percent for the first five months. The German automaker announced on June 6 that it would stop making the rear-engine Bug at its Puebla, Mexico, plant this summer. Puebla, says VW, has been the only production site for the car since 1978.
Production of light vehicles in Mexico also fell for the month, sliding 13.1 percent from the level of May 2002.
GM production was down 5.5 percent for the month, though production for the first five months was up 1.6 percent.
Ford production fell 4.8 percent and DaimlerChrysler was down 26.6 percent for the month.