This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 9/16/2017


Mexico is the seventh largest vehicle manufacturer in the world, producing more than three million cars annually.  It is also the fifth largest auto parts producer worldwide with USD 85 billion in revenues annually.  Recent investments by established automakers and new Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have increased business opportunities throughout the country and have attracted Tier 1 and Tier 2 supplier bases.  Vehicle production levels are forecasted to reach five million units by 2020, given the new players and expanded manufacturing capabilities.

Auto Parts Market for OEM and Aftermarket
(Figures in USD billions)
 2014201520162017 (Estimated)
Total Local Production81.482.085.092.0
Total Exports61.667.762.260.0
Total Imports42.
Imports from the United States
Total Market Size61.856.362.870.0
Exchange Rates13.3015.8918.68N/A
Source: National Auto Parts Industry Association (INA) & Office of Transportation and Machinery (OTM)

Vehicle Market in Mexico

(Figures in thousands of units)
 2014201520162017 (Estimated)
Total Local Production3,220.03,399.03,465.64,118.6
Total Exports2,423.12,643.02,768.82,777.6
Total Imports600.6717.5886.71,055.9
Imports from the United States
Imports Used Vehicles455.3179.5147.8116.0
Total Market Size1,397.51,473.51,583.52,396.9
 Source: Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA)

Market Entry
The best way for U.S. suppliers of automotive parts and equipment to enter the Mexican market is through local representation or regional distribution. It is easier to serve Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in Mexico if the U.S. exporter is already supplying them in the United States and already has a supplier number. The aftermarket industry continues to grow since, on average, the Mexican consumer will keep their car for up to 17 years.  Imports of used vehicles are subject to local regulations. More information is available on request.

There are no major trade barriers in the auto sector for parts and related equipment. U.S. exporters are advised to work closely with their partner in Mexico to comply with Mexican standards for electrical and electronic safety measures as well as with labeling requirements to avoid any delays.

Current Market Trends
Automakers in Mexico have increased from seven to eleven, producing 40 brands and 500 models. The industry is spread out geographically with higher concentrations of assembly plants in northern and western Mexico, and stretching down through the center of the country.  Automakers such as General Motors, Ford, FCA, Volkswagen, Nissan, Honda, and Toyota have implemented an ambitious growth strategy in the country to take advantage of the numerous Free Trade Agreements Mexico has with Latin American and European countries. Recent market entrants with manufacturing plants include Mazda, Audi, BMW and China Giant. 

Assembly plants producing new parts commonly require that their supplier base be as close to them as possible to reduce inventory volumes and to facilitate just-in time and just-in sequence deliveries. This trend opens a new field of opportunity to U.S. suppliers of production machinery and equipment, materials, pre-assembled components, molds and tooling, cutting tools, automation process equipment, raw materials, engineering and design, finished parts, and accessories sold through local representatives or distributors.

Current Demand
In the OEM market, there are business opportunities for parts, components or materials that carmakers need to produce lighter vehicles. The most commonly imported goods in the auto sector are components for Tier 2 suppliers that include but are not limited to plastic injection parts, stamped parts, accessories for bodies, engines and their parts, devices for audio and video, seats, etc. In the tier supplier base, companies prefer products that comply with ISO or TS certifications. Generally, OEMs and tier suppliers are receptive to sourcing material from U.S. suppliers at all levels that meet their specifications and certifications such as ISO and TS.    Price and quality are also important factors when working with Mexican-based OEMs and tier suppliers. In the aftermarket, there are approximately 31 million vehicles registered in Mexico. Given the length of time Mexican consumers keep their cars (17 years on average), there is demand for parts that consumers will need to repair their vehicles after warranty periods expire. 

Main Competitors
Competition is often from locally based manufacturers, which include Mexican and foreign manufacturers and suppliers in country. In the automotive sector for OEM parts and components, the competition is mainly from Japan, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Austria, and Germany. In the aftermarket, the major competition is from Chinese imports and local manufacturers.

Used Automotive Products Summary
The Mexican Government enacted regulations that reduce the importation of used vehicles into Mexico.  The revised measures were adopted by local governments and private vehicle associations in Mexico in response to concerns about the condition of older used vehicles, including their high pollution emissions, fuel efficiency limitations, higher maintenance costs, and poor mechanical condition.  Used vehicles also have a negative impact on new car sales, and there is an inherent difficulty in tracking and identifying used vehicles involved in criminal activity. The combination of these factors and others prompted the Mexican Government to put these regulations in place.

Used parts can be imported into Mexico. However, Mexican auto parts distributors require a warranty and do not import large volumes since they tend to order only specific parts not found locally. Mexico is a mature market with auto parts sold by OE parts manufacturers and aftermarket sellers, and there are therefore limited opportunities for used parts exporters to Mexico.

Remanufactured Automotive Products Summary
Remanufactured products parts are considered those that were repaired with new parts which may have originated in different countries. Therefore, producing a Certificate of Origin might be difficult for U.S. exporters since the part numbers are so numerous. This niche market is price-driven and there are local companies in the market that already remanufacture diesel and gasoline engines and their parts which include rotors, among others. Other OEMs of parts or engines also remanufacture so they can offer competitive prices to their customers.

Heavy Duty Products Summary
Mexico’s heavy vehicle sector principally consists of tractors-trailers, specialty commercial vehicles, and passenger buses. Although the principal global producers of heavy vehicles include China, Japan, Germany and the United States, Mexico is the leading exporter of tractor-trailers used in the trucking industry. Despite recent global economic volatility, industry trends and official figures from the Mexican Government, international agencies, and associations indicate that Mexico will continue to be the world leader in tractor-trailer exports. In 2015, Mexico shipped 92,630 units to global consumers. Germany came in a close second with a total export of 87,800 units.

Underscoring the importance of the Mexican trucking industry, the vast majority of goods produced in Mexico are transported by truck. The country builds 35 percent of the commercial vehicles including truck sold in North America and is the fourth largest exporter of commercial vehicles worldwide. Tractor-trailers exported from Mexico account for 60 percent of transportation vehicles sent outside the borders of the country. Although sales to external markets remain relatively robust, tractor-trailer manufacturers in Mexico face the challenge of a somewhat lackluster domestic market.

The major global manufacturers of tractor-trailers that have manufacturing facilities, spare parts shops, and maintenance shops in Mexico are: Cummins, Daimler Vehiculos Comerciales, Detroit Diesel Allison de Mexico, DINA de Mexico, Freightliner Mexico, FOTON Mexico, HINO de Mexico, ISUZU de Mexico, Kenworth Mexicana, Mack Trucks, Inc., MAN Truck and Bus, Volkswagen Mexico, Navistar de Mexico SCANIA de Mexico, and Volvo Mexico.

For specialized vehicles in construction and agriculture industries, Mexico also has a large manufacturing base across the country, which exports worldwide. Exports for this equipment and machinery account for more than USD 500 million. John Deere and Caterpillar are the leading manufacturers in Mexico with over 200 dealers across the country. CNH (Case and New Holland), AGCO (Massey Ferguson), McCormick, and FOTON are other firms with solid presence due to their manufacturing facilities and dealers well-located to serve their clients.

Mexico is the fifth largest manufacturer and exporter for construction and agriculture machinery, equipment, and spare parts. Major markets include the United States, South Africa, Thailand, Switzerland, Australia, Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile, Paraguay, and Guatemala among others.

And last, but not least, passenger bus manufacturers have the longest manufacturing tradition in Mexico, with several manufacturing facilities across the country.  Leading firms are Volvo Autobuses, Dina Camiones, Mercedes-Benz Autobuses, Scania Autobuses, MAN Latin America, Grupo Autofin, Isuzu Motors Mexico, Hino Motors Sales, American Coach de Mexico, Irizar Mexico, Beccar, Autopartes y Componentes AYCO, and RECO.

Major export markets for buses manufactured in Mexico include Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and South Africa.  


The Government of Mexico has implemented measures to increase consumer access to loans through financing programs.  As a result, new car sales are expected to increase, leading to additional opportunities for U.S. auto part suppliers.

The top opportunities in the automotive sector include technical support, customized solutions, ISO and TS certifications, engineering capabilities, innovative products and testing and validation services and equipment.

Although there are limited opportunities for the export of used U.S. vehicles, repair equipment and replacement parts are still needed.

Web Resources

ARIDRA – National Association of Spare Parts
and Accessories Importers and Representatives
ARIDRA website
INA – National Association of Spare Parts
INA website    
AMIA – Mexican Association of the
Automotive Industry  
AMIA website


INA Paace Automechanika (OE and Aftermarket parts), March 14-16, 2018. Mexico City, Mexico.
Expo Transporte Anpact (transportation and buses), November 15-17, 2017. Guadalajara, Jalisco.
Expo Transporte website
For more information on the automotive and trucking sectors in Mexico, please contact:
Monica Martinez      
Commercial Specialist for Vehicles and Auto Parts
U.S Commercial Services – Mexico City
Phone: + 52 55 5080 2000 x 5218
Adrian Orta
Commercial Specialist for Trucks and Cargo
U.S. Commercial Services – Mexico City
Phone: + 52 55 5080 2000 x 5220

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Mexico Automotive Trade Development and Promotion