Propelled by a 24.2 percent surge in sales in December, General Motors finished 2003 as the top-selling automaker in Mexico. But it was close.
GM reclaimed the top spot after falling behind Nissan in October and November. Sales totaled 217,896 for GM and 214,011 for Nissan.
GM's margin of victory of 3,885 units for 2003 was one-sixth its lead over Nissan a year earlier.
Volkswagen was the No. 3 seller for the year, followed by Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler. The ranking of the top five sellers was unchanged from 2002.
Sales in Mexico totaled 979,860 units for 2003, down 0.2 percent from a year earlier. December sales totaled 121,788 units, up 14.1 percent from December 2002.
GM's December surge was driven by sales of imported cars and trucks. Imported car sales were up 59.8 percent from December 2002 to 12,149 units; imported truck sales rose 44.9 percent for the month to 6,316 units.
Nissan's sales in Mexico were driven by the domestically built Platina supermini and Tsuru subcompact. Platina sales were up 15.1 percent to 6,440 units in December and up 72.6 percent for the full year. Sales of the Tsuru rose 30.3 percent to 7,611 units in December but were down 14.0 percent to 63,094 units for the year.
Vehicle production in Mexico reached 1.54 million units in 2003, down 12.9 percent from 2002. Export production totaled 1.17 million units, down 10.9 percent from the year earlier.
Total production in December hit 95,535 units, a gain of 7.8 percent from December 2002's output. Production for export in the month totaled 68,927 units, down 2.7 percent from a year earlier.