Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: Mexico, Nissan's Kingdom

Matt Gasnier
by Matt Gasnier
best selling cars around the globe mexico nissan s kingdom

After Argentina and Brazil some weekends ago, our whirlwind tour around the globe takes us back to the American continent this weekend, further up north, on a visit to Mexico.

Now if Mexican cars don’t excite you as much as a plate of nachos, that’s ok! There are 153 other países to explore in my blog. You will enjoy it mucho mucho, te lo prometo!

After a peak at 1.140 million units in 2006, the Mexican new car market had been slipping down, accelerating its fall to minus 26 percent in 2009. The drop was halted in 2010 when the market grew 9 percent at 820,406 registrations. So far, 2011 is looking pretty good too, with a 12 percent increase over the first quarter.

If you have never been to Mexico, this will surprise you: Mexico is the country in the world where Nissan is the most successful! Yep, it’s not Japan, and it’s not even an Asian country. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in the country this year, Nissan is by far the best selling brand in Mexico with a 24 percent market share during the first quarter of 2011.

Nissan is so popular in Mexico that partner Renault launched some of its models under the Nissan brand, just there. In 2002, the Renault Symbol was released as the Nissan Platina, to some success: the model was number 2 in 2005 and 2006.

In 2007, Renault launched the popular (and on paper perfect for Mexico) Dacia Logan as the Nissan Aprio, but it flopped.

Instead, it is the Nissan Tsuru, a 1991 Nissan Sentra, that has been dominating the Mexican market for the last six years.

Particularly popular with taxi companies, the Nissan Tsuru is a no-frill, robust and affordable sedan ($US9,000) that fits the bill perfectly for the Mexican consumer and, 20 years after its original launch, it seems to never want to end its reign. It still holds the pole position over the first quarter of 2011 with 15,804 sales and 7.5 percent market share.

Actually, there is one car that could start to threaten the Tsuru’s domination, and it is also an old generation model that has been kept in production as a low cost offer.

Volkswagen has not managed to lead the models ranking since 2003 when the Pointer (the Mexican Gol) was all the rage. In late 2010, the 6th generation Jetta was launched, and the existing generation (in fact a restyled 4th generation dating back to 1999) was renamed ‘Clasico’.

And the VW Clasico led the Mexican car market in February 2011 just above the Tsuru. It is up 65 percent year-on-year over the first quarter of 2011…

Confirming the hold it has on the country, Nissan places a second model on the podium: the Nissan Tiida sedan, known as Versa across the border. At 5.6 percent market share over Q1 2011, it is up an astounding (given the model is about to be face lifted) 65 percent year-on-year. Mexico is one of the Tiida’s top 3 performing countries in the world.

Did I mention Nissan kicked ass in Mexico?

But wait there’s more: a total of 4 Nissans in the Top 7! The Sentra is number 6 and the Chasis Largo is number 7 and best selling commercial vehicle.

General Motors is the number 2 brand in the country and it shows in the models Top 10: the Aveo is number 4, the Spark number 8 and the Chevy tres puertas (a 1993 Opel Corsa) number 9…

One last development you absolutely need to be aware of if you want to show off your knowledge of the Mexican car market is the constant progression of Spanish manufacturer Seat since its introduction in the country in 2001, and especially since the launch of the last generation Ibiza in 2009. Seat is now the tenth most successful brand in the country, with sales up 55 percent year-on-year in Q1 2011.

The Seat Ibiza lodged its best ever month in Mexico in March 2011, ranking 9th with 1,365 sales and 1.8 percent share.

Now that I’ve gone through it in a certain amount of detail I thought you’d like to see the Top 10 best selling cars in Mexico during Q1 2011:

Top 10 Mexico Q1 2011:

PosModel2011%/101Nissan Tsuru15,8047.5%10%2VW Clasico14,7017.0%65%3Nissan Tiida Sedan12,5315.9%65%4Chevrolet Aveo8,3774.0%38%5VW Nuevo Jetta5,9682.8%new6Nissan Sentra 2.05,5622.6%7%7Nissan Chasis Largo5,1762.5%17%8Chevrolet Spark4,9942.4%new9Chevrolet Chevy 3pts4,3012.0%-3%10Mazda33,4801.7%-2%

And the same ranking for the whole of 2010 …

Top 10 Mexico Full Year 2010:

PosModel2010%/091Nissan Tsuru61,1477.5%12%2VW Clasico41,3615.0%31%3Nissan Tiida Sedan38,2064.7%78%4Chevrolet Aveo29,4093.6%22%5Chevrolet Chevy 3pts19,7222.4%34%6Nissan Sentra 2.019,5282.4%37%7Nissan Chasis Largo19,0992.3%19%8Chevrolet Chevy 4pts18,3872.2%36%9VW Bora15,4001.9%-17%10Mazda313,2131.6%43%

Now if you want to know the Mexican market in more detail month by month for the last 6 months and year by year up to 2003, you can always check my blog here.

That’s all for today!

Source of Mexican sales figures: Asociacion Mexicana de Distribuidores de Automotores, A.C.

Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.

Join the conversation
2 of 18 comments
  • ExtraO ExtraO on May 08, 2011

    I live South of the Border, and our second car is a 2007 Tsuru. They ARE popular with the cabbies for two simple reasons: they're tough little cars - very hard to break but easy to fix, and they're very cheap to operate - really good on gas & parts are relatively cheap. Except for the now extinct beetle taxis in Mexico City, you almost never see a VW as a taxi. The most popular Mexican models are all pretty tough customers though, they have to be, because it doesn't matter if it's city or country, Mexican roadways pound the sheet out of automobiles.

  • Matt Gasnier Matt Gasnier on May 11, 2011

    UPDATE Guys the April figures are now out for Mexico and surprise, the VW Clasico manages to take the 1st spot this month with a comfortable margin over the Nissan Tsuru. The Tsuru is still #1 year-to-date though. Top 3 Mexico April 2011: 1. VW Clasico 4,795 2. Nissan Tsuru 4,235 3. Nissan Tiida Sedan 3,760 Complete Top 10 is here:

  • Nrd515 Usually for me it's been Arby's for pretty much forever, except when the one near my house dosed me with food poisoning twice in about a year. Both times were horrible, but the second time was just so terrible it's up near the top of my medical horror stories, and I have a few of those. Obviously, I never went to that one again. I'm still pissed at Arby's for dropping Potato Cakes, and Culver's is truly better anyway. It will be Arby's fish for my "cheat day", when I eat what I want. No tartar sauce and no lettuce on mine, please. And if I get a fish and a French Dip & Swiss? Keep the Swiss, and the dip, too salty. Just the meat and the bread for me, thanks. The odds are about 25% that they will screw one or both of them up and I will have to drive through again to get replacement sandwiches. Culver's seems to get my order right many times in a row, but if I hurry and don't check my order, that's when it's screwed up and garbage to me. My best friend lives on Starbucks coffee. I don't understand coffee's appeal at all. Both my sister and I hate anything it's in. It's like green peppers, they ruin everything they touch. About the only things I hate more than coffee are most condiments, ranked from most hated to..who cares..[list=1][*]Tartar sauce. Just thinking about it makes me smell it in my head. A nod to Ranch here too. Disgusting. [/*][*]Mayo. JEEEEZUS! WTF?[/*][*]Ketchup. Sweet puke tasting sludge. On my fries? Salt. [/*][*]Mustard. Yikes. Brown, yellow, whatever, it's just awful.[/*][*]Pickles. Just ruin it from the pickle juice. No. [/*][*]Horsey, Secret, whatever sauce. Gross. [/*][*]American Cheese. American Sleeze. Any cheese, I don't want it.[/*][*]Shredded lettuce. I don't hate it, but it's warm and what's the point?[/*][*]Raw onion. Totally OK, but not something I really want. Grilled onions is a whole nother thing, I WANT those on a burger.[/*][*]Any of that "juice" that Subway and other sandwich places want to put on. NO, HELL NO! Actually, move this up to #5. [/*][/list=1]
  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.
  • Inside Looking Out Scandinavian design costs only $600? I mean the furniture.