Mexico - Country Commercial Guide
Automotive Industry

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-09-02

Mexico is a major market for U.S. passenger vehicles, light vehicles, trucks, buses, auto parts, and supplies. The automotive sector is one of Mexico’s most significant industries, comprising 20 percent of the nation’s GDP and employing over one million people nationwide.

Overview

Mexico is the sixth-largest global passenger vehicle manufacturer, producing approximately three million vehicles annually. Eighty nine percent of vehicles produced in Mexico are exported, with 80 percent destined for the United States. Established automakers in Mexico include Audi, Baic Group, BMW, Stellantis (made up of FCA and PSA Group), Ford, General Motors, Honda, Kia, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

Mexico is the sixth-largest manufacturer of heavy-duty vehicles for cargo, with 14 manufacturers and assemblers of buses, trucks, tractor trucks and engines through 11 manufacturing plants, supporting 18,500 jobs nationwide. Mexico is the leading global exporter of tractor trucks, exporting 94.5 percent of its production to the United States. Mexico is also the fourth-largest exporter of heavy-duty vehicles for cargo, and the second-largest export market after Canada, for U.S. medium and heavy-duty trucks. Top players include Cummins, Detroit Diesel Allison, Freightliner–Daimler, Kenworth Mexicana, Mack Trucks de México, International-Navistar, Dina Camiones, Scania, Volvo Group VW, Man Truck & Bus, Mercedes-Benz, Hino Motors, and Isuzu Motors.

Automotive manufacturers are primarily concentrated in the northern region of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and San Luis Potosí. Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) plants are also based in Guanajuato, Aguascalientes, Jalisco, Estado de Mexico, Hidalgo, Morelos, Puebla, and Veracruz. In terms of supply chains, auto parts producers are located close to these plants, principally in Coahuila, Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Guanajuato and Estado de Mexico, although they are found in other parts of the country as well. The heavy-duty vehicle manufacturing plants are mainly concentrated in northern Baja California, Coahuila, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Guanajuato, Querétaro, and Hidalgo.

The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), which went into effect on July 1, 2020, included a number of changes to the rules of origin for the automotive sector. The USMCA requires that 75 percent of a vehicle’s content (70 percent for heavy trucks) be produced in North America, and that core auto parts originate from the United States, Canada, or Mexico. Following a phase-in period ending in 2023 for vehicles and 2027 for trucks, only goods meeting these content requirements will receive duty-free access. For additional information, please visit the Office of United States Trade Representative (USTR) website (www.ustr.gov) or see USTR’s USMCA U.S Automotive Sector Impact Analysis.

The USMCA requirements for the automotive industry are likely to provide new business opportunities for U.S. exporters with local OEMs and other suppliers in Mexico looking to increase the percentage of inputs in their supply chains from North American sources. The U.S. Commercial Service Mexico has prepared a helpful guide, which provides information on the USMCA and its implications for the auto sector. To access this report and other useful USMCA information, please visit our website (www.trade.gov/usmca-auto-report).

Mexico Passenger Vehicle Sales in Mexico
(Figures in thousands of vehicles)

 

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021 (Estimated)

Total Local Production

3,932

3,908

3,811

3,040

3,383

Total Exports

3,102

3,449

3,388

2,681

2,998

Total Imports

906.3

929.8

906.8

587.3

650

Imports from the U.S.

161.6

140.6

126.0

75.8

95.0

Imports Used Vehicles

123.6

141.7

159.4

124.2

115.0

Total Market Size*

1,736

1,388

1,329

946.3

1035

Exchange Rates

18.91

19.23

19.26

20.00

21.00

*Total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports
Source: Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA) & United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Foreign Trade Division.

Vehicle Market in Mexico
(Figures in USD Billions)

 

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020 (Estimated)

Total Local Production*

35.0

33.3

39.2

38.2

33.3

Total Imports

32.7

33.7

37.5

35.5

35.0

New Passenger Vehicle & Light Trucks

Total Exports

40.8

46.9

52.6

58.3

55.3

Imports from the U.S.

3.6

3.4

3.2

2.9

3.0

Medium & Heavy-Duty Trucks

Total Exports

8.9

10.7

12.1

13.1

13.0

Imports from the U.S.

0.4

0.3

0.4

0.4

0.4

Exchange Rates

18.68

18.91

19.23

19.26

20.00

*Local production is calculated by applying the Mexican Government estimate of automotive production as a percent of GDP and converting the figure to U.S. Dollars. This is a rough estimate that cannot be directly compared to the export and import figures in the remainder of the table. There are no statistics available for 2020.
Sources: Country economy, Mexican Automotive Industry Association & U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Foreign Trade Division.

Mexico is the largest export market for U.S. automotive parts and the fifth-largest producer of automotive parts worldwide with USD 78 billion in annual revenues. The size of Mexico’s passenger vehicle market and the shared border between the United States and Mexico provides a robust market for U.S. OEMs and aftermarket auto parts.

The most effective way for U.S. suppliers of auto parts and equipment to enter the Mexican market is through local representation or regional distribution. Assembly plants prefer suppliers who are located close by to minimize inventory volumes and to facilitate just-in-time or just-in-sequence deliveries. It is easier to serve OEMs in Mexico if the U.S. exporter is already supplying them in the United States and has a supplier number. Automotive parts related to components for Tier 2 suppliers represent the most exported items from the United States. However, opportunities exist for production machinery and equipment, materials, pre-assembled components, molds and tooling, cutting tools, automation process equipment, raw materials, engineering and design, finished parts, and accessories sold through local representatives or distributors.

As the technology becomes more sophisticated, Mexico will search for solutions including big data, wireless technologies, innovation for high production volumes, smart packaging, and track and trace systems in logistics. The main competition for original equipment parts is from domestic manufacturers, as well as from China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Canada, and Brazil, among other countries.

Mexican Autoparts Market for OEM and Aftermarket
(Figures in USD billions)

 

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021 (Est.)

Total Local Production

92.0

97.0

97.8

78.4

94.3

Total Exports

73.5

79.3

81

64.8

78.1

Total Imports

54.9

59.3

60.8

44.2

53.2

Imports from the U.S.

29.9

32.4

33.0

21.8

26.2

Total Market Size*

73.4

77.0

73.3

57.8

69.4

Exchange Rates

18.91

19.23

19.26

20.00

21.00

*Total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports
Source: National Auto Parts Industry Association (INA) & United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Foreign Trade Division.

Leading Sub-Sectors and Opportunities

There are six major sub-sectors in Mexico’s automotive industry: original equipment (OE) parts, aftermarket parts, electric and hybrid vehicles, specialty equipment, and remanufactured products. Of these sub-sectors, the U.S. Commercial Service Mexico sees strong opportunities in OE parts, aftermarket, and electric vehicle parts. To learn more about these opportunities, please refer to the web resources below.

Resources

  • Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA)
  • Mexican Aftermarket Industry Association (ARIDRA)
  • Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA)
  • Mexican Aftermarket Industry Association (ARIDRA)
  • Mexican Trucks and Buses Manufacturer’s Association (ANPACT)
  • National Auto Parts Industry Association (INA)
  • ITA—Office of Transportation and Machinery

Events

  • Logistic Summit (Logistics and Transportation), Mexico City
  • INA Paace Automechanika Show (OE/Aftermarket/Accessories), San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí
  • Expo Transporte Anpact (Transportation and Buses), Puebla, Puebla
  • Expo Carga (Logistics and Transportation), Postponed/TBC

Contacts

For further information on the automotive sector in Mexico, please contact:

Monica Martinez        

Commercial Specialist

U.S. Commercial Service—Mexico City

Tel: +52 55 5080-2000, ext. 5218

Monica.Martinez@trade.gov