21 Jan 19

GM, Nissan battle for pole position in Mexico

General Motors (GM) has assumed the lead in Mexico in terms of local automobile production, overtaking Nissan.

This was mainly due to Nissan scaling back production (mostly sedans), but also because the American automaker is focused on shifting some of its manufacturing from the United States to Mexico, one being its Blazer SUV.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer (source: Chevrolet)
From January to November of 2018, Nissan produced 717,108 vehicles in Mexico (down 9.9%), while GM produced 801,163 (up 8.4%), according to global research firm IHS Markit.
GM exports from Mexico also rose 15% year-over-year during the period, rising 10% for those going to the US and significantly higher for those going to other countries.

As GM has announced that it will close three assembly plants in North America (Detroit-Hamtramck, Lordstown in Ohio, and Oshawa in Ontario) by the end of 2019, it has received strong criticism from some US government officials. The company claims, however, that the change is necessary to prepare for the growing trend of less demand for sedans and more for SUVs and trucks. 

GM currenly has three assembly plants in Mexico, US news service Detroit Free Press reported, explaining that current assembly plant workers in the US have a starting hourly wage of US$17 compared to only around $1.90 (est. 2016) in Mexico. 

Currently, the three top selling brands in Mexico are GM, Nissan, and Volkswagen, with the Chevrolet Aveo and Nissan Versa sedans being the best selling car models. The fight to lead the market, however, is tight so this could change in the months to come.
Authored by: Daniel Bland