Mexico is rapidly becoming a world leader in vehicle production, which includes cars, commercial vehicles such as large trucks, pick-ups and SUVs (sports utility vehicles). Back in 1995, Mexico produced fewer than a million vehicles and ranked 12th globally. By 2011 it was making 2.68 million, placing it 8th in the world (see table). During the 16 year period, Mexico surpassed France, Canada, the U.K., Russia, Italy and Spain. China and India moved ahead of Mexico during the period.
Mexico’s impressive 1995 to 2011 growth of 185% was third among top vehicle producers, but trailed way behind the amazing growth of China at 1170% and India at 515%. Others experiencing significant growth include Brazil up 109%, Russia up 101%, South Korea up 84% and Germany up 35%. Except for Spain, which edged up less than 1%, all the other other major vehicle producers experienced significant declines in the number of vehicles produced: USA (- 28%), Japan (-18%), U.K. (-17%), France (-15%) and Canada (-12%). The data clearly indicate that vehicle production is shifting rather quickly from the major producers of past decades to a number of emerging economies with lower labor costs. Germany appears to be the only exception to this shift. In North America, production has shifted from the USA and Canada to Mexico, largely as a result of NAFTA.
2011 Production Statistics (Source: International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers)
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Mexico vehicle production grew by over 14% from 2010 to 2011, the fastest among all major producers except Russia, which advanced at a very impressive 42% (see table). Available data indicate that Mexico’s rapid growth has continued into 2012. Interestingly, the USA’s growth of 12% over its lackluster 2010 total placed it 3rd, ahead of India (10%), South Korea (9%) and Germany (7%). Surprisingly, Brazil and China grew by less than 1%, though China’s 2011 production level of over 18 million vehicles was over twice as many as its nearest rivals, the USA and Japan.
Just looking at commercial vehicles, which include pick-ups and SUVs, Mexico ranks a very impressive 5th in the world with over a million vehicles, behind only the USA, China, Japan and Canada. On this list, Germany and South Korea drop back to 11th and 12th behind Thailand, India, Brazil, Turkey and Spain.
Source of data:
- The geography of road transport in Mexico
- The financial flows involved in Mexico’s vehicle manufacturing industry
- Where are Mexico’s vehicle assembly plants located?
- Why has Mexico become one of the world’s top ten vehicle-making countries?
- Mexico’s vibrant autoparts sector
- Car-makers building new assembly plants in Mexico