Mexico's export-oriented auto industry produced a record 3.4 million units last year compared with 1.6 million a decade earlier. New and planned plants by Ford, Audi, Kia, Toyota, BMW and others are expected to push that to 5 million by the end of 2020, according to the Mexican Automotive Industry Association.
More recently, domestic sales of new cars in Mexico have surged, hitting a record 1.35 million last year compared with 755,000 in 2009. Sales are expected to rise to as high as 1.6 million this year. That has broad benefits for the North American industry, officials say, since it creates a local market for Mexican production and for imports, which make up more than half of local sales.
Economic analysts say implementation of Trump's trade and immigration policies would hurt exports and local consumption.
"Declining trade volumes could send shock waves across the country's manufacturing sector, leading to a sharp drop in business investment, potential job losses, and a decline in overall economic output," BMI Research said in a recent analysis, noting 81 percent of Mexico's exports go to the U.S.
Tougher immigration policies, including deportations, "would -- if implemented -- deprive the region of a vital source of funding for household spending," the report said.
That would include durable goods such as new cars.
Trump's candidacy has already upended Mexican politics. President Enrique Pena Nieto recently apologized for inviting the Republican candidate to Mexico for a hastily planned trip in August, saying he should have handled the invitation differently.
Mexico's ruling party is now in third place in early polls for the nation's own presidential contest in 2018.