How Mexico's Auto Industry Hit the Gas in 2023

Mexican autos defied the December dip, roaring past 2023 with a 14% production rise and 16% export fiesta. Nissan and BMW zoom ahead, while Mercedes hits the brakes. Ford exports more than it makes, KIA keeps the taco truck rolling.

How Mexico's Auto Industry Hit the Gas in 2023
A joyous atmosphere depicts the Mexican automotive industry's triumph.

Mexico's car industry revved up in 2023, leaving tire tracks of double-digit growth and defying gravity with record-breaking exports. Beneath the shiny hood is a tale of winners and whiners, high-flyers and nose-divers, a veritable automotive “Game of Thrones” with metal steeds instead of dragons.

Let's start with the bigwigs. General Motors, the king of the castle, held onto its crown despite a slight stumble (-2.8%), churning out a cool 722,631 vehicles. Nissan, the plucky underdog, roared back with a 57.5% growth spurt, claiming the silver medal with 615,751 cars. Stellantis, the three-headed hydra formed from the union of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group, cruised comfortably in third with a 12.7% increase. VW, the steady Eddie of the bunch, perked up 15.7%, while BMW zoomed past everyone with a staggering 85.1% growth, proving that sometimes, all you need is a good German engineering boost.

But not everyone was cruising on sunshine and rainbows. Mercedes-Benz, the once-untouchable luxury titan, hit a pothole with a 22.5% production and export drop. Maybe they ran out of diamantes for the gear knobs? Mazda, however, found its groove in Guanajuato, growing 36.7% and 41.7% in production and exports, proving that sometimes, smaller can be mightier. Honda also revved up its Celaya plant, with a 32.4% and 28% growth spurt.

Up north, KIA faltered slightly (-3.4% and -4.8%), reminding us that even the Korean wave can't defy all economic tides. And then there's Ford, the OG of Mexican carmakers. They surprised everyone with a 20.4% production surge and a whopping 27.8% export increase, proving that even old mustangs can kick up some dust.

But beyond the numbers, there's a human story. Thousands of Mexicans found jobs in these factories, families bought their first cars, and the sweet smell of fresh rubber filled the air (well, maybe not that last one, but you get the picture).

So, what's the takeaway from this automotive rollercoaster? Mexico's car industry is in the fast lane, driven by global demand and a talented workforce. There will be bumps along the road, detours, and the occasional flat tire, but one thing's for sure: this automotive fiesta is just getting started.

P.S. Don't forget to tip your local taco vendor because after all, what's a Mexican car journey without a good al pastor to fuel the adventure?