Mexico Auto Sales September 2013: Fewer Selling Days Cuts Monthly Sales 2%, But First Nine Months Volume Highest Since 2008 Auto Crisis

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Mexico Auto Plant VW Puebla 2010
An employee works on the assembly line at the Volkswagen (VW) automobile manufacturing factory in Puebla, Mexico.

Mexico’s auto sales last month, which had the lowest number of selling days of any September in more than a decade, fell 2 percent from year earlier to 78,351 cars and light trucks.

Last month’s deluges from Hurricane Ingrid, which flooded portions of the country’s Gulf Coast, and Tropical Storm Manuel doing the same on the Pacific side, didn’t help boost sales, either.

However, year-to-date sales tracked by the Mexican Automobile Industry Association suggest Mexico, Latin America’s largest auto marketplace after Brazil, is in line to have its best year since before the 2009 global auto industry crisis. From January to September, Mexican consumers bought 755,315 passenger cars and light trucks, the highest volume since 2008. February was the only other month so far this year where sales were lower than the previous year.

Annual sales are in line to break a million units in 2013, which would only be the sixth time on record. Mexico’s annual auto sales topped a million units from 2004 to 2008. Annualized monthly figures have been teasing a million units since last year.

Here’s a breakdown of how major automakers and popular brands are faring in Mexico so far this year:

Top Five Automakers By Mexico Sales Volume, January-September 2013

- Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (TYO:7201) is Mexico’s No. 1 seller with 189,072 vehicles so far this year, a 7.8 percent increase over the same period last year.

- General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) has sold 143,880 cars and trucks in Mexico this year to September, a 9.1 percent increase.

- Volkswagen AG (FRA:VOW3) sold 110,317 vehilces from January to September, a 16.8 percent rise from the same period last year.

- Chrysler Group LLC, the Detroit Big 3 subsidiary of Italy’s Fiat SpA (BIT:F) consistently outsells Ford in Mexico with a wider mix of lower-cost sedans, but it’s the only major seller in Mexico to see a decline in sales this year. Chrysler, which sells Mitsubishis, Fiats and Alfa Romeos in Mexico, sold 68,191 units, 5.5 percent fewer than in the first nine months of last year. Fiat sales increased 49 percent to 5,481 autos. The Chrysler brand sold 56,400 cars and trucks, a 9 percent drop.

Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) is catching up; it sold 6.1 percent more vehicles, to 63,079 units.

Five Best-Selling Models (Of Any Segment) In Mexico, January-September 2013

- Chevrolet Aveo subcompact: 48,881, down 0.6 percent.
- Volkswagen Clásico four-door compact (the fourth-generation Jetta still sold new in Mexico): 39,861, up 39 percent.
- Nissa Versa compact: 35,416, up 10.5 percent.
- Nissan Tsuru (aka Sentra) subcompact: 34,592, up 30.5 percent
- Volkswagen Jetta (the latest sixth-generation, known in Mexico as the Nueva Jetta) compact: 25,465, up 21.3 percent.

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