American Used Cars Stifle Mexico's New Car Market

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
american used cars stifle mexicos new car market

In 2005, Mexican President Vincente Fox accelerated the opening of Mexico's markets to American used cars, allowing the free importation of American vehicles between 10 and 15 years old. In the last two-and-a-half years, an estimated three million used American cars answering to that description have found their way into Mexico. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the business of importing American junkers has been good to the 25k families who earn their living in the trade, but not everyone is muy alegre. Mexico's new car dealers are feeling the pinch; sales have stagnated at 1.1m per year. Sales of subcompacts have dropped over 16 percent, as Mexicans opts for cheaper, more spacious American metal. And when the Mexican car industry sneezes, American manufacturers catch a cold. GM, Ford and Chrysler are all top sellers in Mexico. They stand to lose big as the wave of American jalopies continues to take the air out of the Mexican new car market.

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  • Turbo G Turbo G on Feb 26, 2008

    The Japanese automakers are starting to have a real presence here in the state of Sonora as well. People seemed to buy the Chryslers and Fords (at non negotiable sticker price!) for years becuase they were the only game in town. Now there streets are loaded with Mexican plated Toyotas and Hondas. Not so good for the Big 2.8

  • on Feb 26, 2008
    shaker : February 26th, 2008 at 1:55 pm Boy, I’ll bet their air quality really sucks. It sucked for many, many years before the relaxing of used car import restrictions.

  • on Feb 26, 2008

    Excuse me, if I feel happy for the Mexican citizens who now have an automobile more than I feel sad for the new car dealers in Mexico. I like it when people have a better shot at a better life. More affordable mobility is one step towards prosperity.

  • DearS DearS on Feb 26, 2008

    I wonder if regulations will be put in effect to challenge (ie. harm) Mexican buyers, I mean to help (ie. manipulate) the Mexican economy. Anyhow, its unrealistic to think whats good for Mexicans now is directly good for Mexicans in the long term. Some Policy makers seems to tell themselves that fantasy often. They must think they are the center of world, this wonderfully convenient world. Still I rather have a less troublesome time getting a used car. I prefer to have as much integrity as possible. I also want a more expansive view of the economies, so as to better understand the strength of policies. Its a process, its a work in progress, just like me. I better relinquish some of my denial aswell, I do not have control over these matters. I'll see how my world changes from different perspectives, anyhow. I see a valuable opportunity to learn to accept that I do not necessarily get rewards in life, it just feels like it sometimes. So better to just have faith in the path my progress, my process is unfolding. Enjoy life now, worry when its really necessary.