September 7 – The Mexican auto industry continued in the eighth month the recovery shown this year, only overall production, unlike domestic sales, slowed due to a more difficult basis of comparison, which, however, there is no reason for alarm for the representatives of the industry.
Light vehicle production in Mexico increased 2.8% from 316,815 to 325,676 cars manufactured in August 2023, the No. 16 month of uninterrupted growth, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI).
Last month’s rise was the second slowest in the last 16 periods, but if you compare it only to every eighth month, it was the second best since 2017, which is six years.
August had the highest basis of comparison of 2023 as automobile production recorded a 31.4% increase in that month of 2022, a rate more than double that of any other month of this year (with the exception of September , which corresponds to this value).
However, this corresponds to normal production behavior, said Odracir Barquera, director general of the Mexican Association of the Automobile Industry (AMIA), at a conference.
“During the year we can see trends in production, for example in April, where there is traditionally a month with slight declines, and also in August,” said the industry representative in his speech. “These are the normal curves that occur every year, but compared to last year, which counts the most, we’ve had an increase every month this year.”
In terms of units produced, last month’s record was the best in four years as well as the fifth-highest August Inegi has recorded in 36 years, below what was achieved between 2016 and 2019.
August marks the fifth of eight months that volume has hit its highest level since 2019.
Comparing production in August to the same month of 2019 or the pre-Covid-19 pandemic reference, the data reveals a 5.5% drop, the sharpest drop in the last six months.
Barquera noted that while pre-pandemic levels have not yet been reached, the difference between the August 2019 value and the same month’s value in 2023 is only 20,000 units, a sign that “we are on a very are on the right track”. production conditions.
In the first eight months of 2023, auto manufacturing added two million 513,000 units, a 12.3% growth compared to the same period last year, the third-best increase in 11 years for similar periods.
Comparing the January-August period with production in the same period of 2019 shows a 5% decrease. Comparing that period to the average for the previous 10 years — data that the Mexican Auto Industry Confederation typically uses to put the number on a longer time horizon — production was 10.7% higher.
In terms of volume, the two million 513,000 units produced in the eight months was the fourth-best figure in the 36 years that Inegi has set a record for equal periods.
Without deviating from the trend of recent years, eight out of ten vehicles produced are destined for the foreign market, with the majority holding being the United States, where Mexico is already the main exporter.
In this sense, the export of vehicles increased from 248,704 units sold abroad a year ago to 287,845 in August 2023, an increase of 15.7% or 17 in the last 18 months, according to figures from Inegi.
The eighth month overseas sales growth data was the third fastest in a decade or the third best in a decade when compared only to the respective August months.
Comparing the deliveries of units abroad in the last month with the same month of 2019 and avoiding the distortions caused by the health case, this meant an increase of 0.6%, exceeding this threshold for the first time.
Overall, auto exports in the eight months to 2023 recorded an increase of 14.0% compared to the same period of 2022 or a decrease of 8.9% compared to the same period of 2019, the pre-Covid-19 reference period.
Industry officials also expect the recovery in vehicle production to continue through 2024, albeit at a slower pace than this year, partly due to the fact that some backlog demand will already be covered.
“We will mainly depend on the behavior of the North American market, where we will also see the beginning of political processes,” said José Zozaya, Executive President of AMIA, at the conference. “We will monitor this and follow it with special attention.”