Auto plants established in Mexico produced 349,414 light vehicles during the first 31 days of 2018, which represents an increase of 19.8% compared to the 291,754 units of the same period of 2017. This figure is also the highest ever for a month of January.
The increase is due to several factors, including that the production of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) doubled to 96,432 units compared to January 2017, when its Toluca plant was in the early stages of production of the new Jeep Compass.
Another manufacturer that considerably increased its production was KIA, which reported a 92.2% growth at its plant in Pesqueria, Nuevo León.
However, the factor that contributed the most to the increase was that Audi reported its production figures for the first time. Last January, the German automaker manufactured 13,633 units at its Puebla plant, 3.2% more compared to January 2017.
Given that Audi also announced its 2017 total production, AMIA revised last year's national production figure to 3,932,119 vehicles, which represented a growth of 13.5% compared to 2016. Previously, AMIA reported a production of 3,773,569 units and an 8.9% increase.
During the first month of the year, the production of light vehicles comprised of cars by 40% and pick-ups and SUVs by 60%, according to AMIA figures.
Nissan manufactured 71,408 units while General Motors assembled 53,376 vehicles, representing increases of 6.4% and 2.9% respectively.
As for exports, 231,088 units were sent abroad in January, 9.2% more than in January 2017.
Exports to the United States grew 10.1% to 178,667 vehicles. According to Ward's Auto, in January Mexican vehicles represented 15.5% of the total units sold in that country.
Canada received 17,102 units, a figure that represents a drop of 7.5%, while Germany, which is already the third most important destination of Mexican cars exports, received 7,496 vehicles, 27.9% more than in January 2017.
Exports to Latin America increased 38.1% to 16,096 units, while exports towards Asia increased 68.4%.
In Latin America, exports to Brazil grew 594%, to Chile 98%, and to Ecuador 76.1%.
The most exported vehicles to Brazil were the General Motors Trax, the KIA Forte, and the Nissan 300 NP pickup, one of the most praised vehicles by the press in that country.