Sales of new cars and light trucks in Mexico fell 1.5 percent to 83,503 in May from May 2007.
The price of gasoline and diesel fuel is subsidized in Mexico. So Mexicans, unlike Americans, are not reeling from expensive fuel. A gallon of gasoline in Mexico costs $2.66.
Through the first five months of the year, retail sales totaled 430,571, down 2.1 percent from the year-earlier period, according to the Mexican Automotive Manufacturers Association.
In May, General Motors remained ahead of Nissan Motor Co. as the top-selling automaker in Mexico. GM sold 18,999 vehicles, up 4.5 percent from the year-ago month. Nissan sales slipped 2.3 percent to 15,467.
Volkswagen AG kept the third spot ahead of Chrysler LLC. May sales of VW, Seat, Bentley and Audi vehicles fell 8.9 percent to 11,120. Chrysler's sales rose 0.3 percent, to 10,050 vehicles.
Ford Motor Co.'s sales — encompassing Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo brands — were down 6.8 percent in May to 10,014.
While GM car sales jumped 11.2 percent in May to 12,219 units, several other manufacturers' sales were powered by light-truck sales. Nissan posted a 19.3 percent gain in truck sales to 6,418. Chrysler sold 6,791 light trucks, up 7.3 percent.