Through the end of March 2011, no automaker had sold more automobiles in Mexico than Nissan. In fact, the year-to-date Mexico Auto Sales rankings below show that Nissan’s nearest rival, the whole sum of General Motors, was 12,350 units behind Mexico’s favourite brand.
In March, the Mexican auto market grew 15% year-over-year to 75,126. These year-to-date standings reflect the brand-by-brand reflections of a market which improved by 12% in the first three months of 2011 to 210,903 sales. In the first quarter of 2006 the Mexican new vehicle market was 530,221 sales strong. Q1 volume shrunk to 460,399 in 2007, 432,478 in 2008, 300,564 in 2009, and 188,994 in 2010. So yeah, there’s improvement, but compared with what Mexican auto dealers are accustomed to, 2011 can only be considered good because 2010 was so bad.
To be a seller of one of the eight brands which have again suffered declining sales must be awful. (08/25/11 update separates Ford from Lincoln, altering some of this analysis.) It’s worth noting that Ford passenger car sales are up 53.7%. It’s the Blue Oval’s truck/SUV division that brought the brand down. Sales of non-car Fords fell from 15,600 to 13,297 in Q1 of 2011. The story is reversed at Honda where car sales are down 24% and CR-V/Pilot/Odyssey/Ridgeline sales are up a combined 32.2%.
Though there are fewer automakers reporting sales for this post, there are brands you’ll notice in this group that you won’t see when The Good Car Guy publishes monthly rundowns for Canada or the United States. Renault and Seat stand out; scroll down and you’ll spot Peugeot and Isuzu. There isn’t much excitement in Mexico’s Renault, Peugeot, or Isuzu showrooms, but the Golf GTI-related Seat Leon Cupra is a gorgeous and aggressive 240-hp hatch you’ll want to test drive on your next visit to Tijuana or Puerto Vallarta.
The brand-by-brand breakdown of Mexican Auto Sales through the first quarter of 2011 can be viewed in the table below.