The Mexican market plowed ahead in March, posting an 8.3 percent sales gain to 96,871 vehicles compared with March 2005.
Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are small players in Mexico, but they posted the biggest gains last month. Toyota brand sales rose 71.3 percent. Combined Honda and Acura sales increased 45.1 percent.
The two market leaders, General Motors and Nissan Motor Co., posted substantial gains last month. Sales for GM (Cadillac, Chevrolet, Hummer, Pontiac and Saab) were up 7.4 percent. Nissan-brand sales rose 11.5 percent.
Ford Motor Co., including Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo, posted a modest gain of 1.4 percent in March. Sales by DaimlerChrysler, including Mercedes-Benz and Smart, rose 3.3 percent.
During the first three months of 2006, automakers sold 282,182 vehicles in Mexico. That was up 3.8 percent from the same period of 2005.
Meanwhile, auto production in Mexico is booming - up 49.3 percent to 531,928 vehicles in the first quarter of 2006 compared with the same period of 2005.
Leading the surge is Ford Motor's production of the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr in Hermosillo. In the first quarter of this year, Ford Motor assembled 82,815 vehicles in Mexico, compared with 19,986 in the same period of 2005.
You may e-mail Charles Child at [email protected]