Mexican-assembled vehicles are loaded aboard ship for export. Mexican-assembled vehicles are loaded aboard ship for export.

Auto export growth highlights deficiencies

Port of Veracruz is a bottleneck, affecting movement of vehicles

Vehicle exports saw record growth last year, highlighting a strong automotive industry but at the same time showing up handicaps in infrastructure and security.

Peter Koltai of Audi México said that the port of Veracruz represents a bottleneck for transporting vehicles but also has problems with vandalism and theft.

Rafael López of Ford México said deficiencies in logistics should be corrected by 2020, including the synchronization of the assembly plants’ incoming and outgoing supply chains.

López said there has been improvement in the port of Veracruz, mainly in infrastructure and capacity. He said ports on the Pacific coast, like Mazatlán, need to be modernized because they represent the gateway to Asian markets for Mexican exports.

Improving security on the railways is another requirement, López said.

The number of vehicles assembled last year in Mexico reached a record of more than 3.9 million units, according to the Mexican Auto Industry Association (AMIA), up 13.5% over 2016.

Of that total, a record of more than 1.8 million vehicles were shipped abroad through the nation’s ports, signifying a year-on-year growth of 40%.

The coordinator of ports and the merchant marine said all of Mexico’s ports saw growth except Acapulco, where auto exports dropped by 8.4%.

The main port of exit for Mexican-assembled vehicles was Veracruz, where over 1 million units were shipped, 34% more than in 2016.

The second most important port for the automotive sector was Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán. Over 440,000 units were exported, up 42%.

Altamira, Tamaulipas, saw the most impressive year-on-year growth with 76%. Mazatlán, Sinaloa, registered a growth of almost 40%.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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