MEXICO CITY -- Month after month, for years, the story was the same at the joint news conference held by the Mexican auto industry association and the dealers' association.
Auto production had reached another record high. Exports were off the charts, and investment was pouring in.
Local sales of cars and light trucks, however, remained depressed.
Mexico, with the second-largest economy in Latin America and more than 110 million people, at times was lucky to sell a million new vehicles a year locally while it exported twice that number. With sales sometimes running lower than they were 10 years earlier, economists spoke of a "lost decade."
Now, the narrative has flipped. With signs of a plateau in new-vehicle sales in the U.S., Mexico's auto exports were down more than 5 percent in the first half of the year, according to industry data.