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Auto manufacturers see spectacular year

Production up nearly 10% to 3.2 million vehicles; parts makers see a boom

The automotive production numbers for 2014 are in, and they’re “spectacular,” according to the association that represents eight of the big auto manufacturers. It was also a good year for parts manufacturers, who expect last year’s boom to continue in 2015.

Vehicle production and export numbers reached historic levels, says the Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA), with production growing 9.8% to 3,219,786 units and exports up 9.1% over 2013.

Association director Eduardo Solís said domestic sales were also up, recording a 6.8% increase, with Nissan leading the way.

AMIA members are Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and Fiat.

On the parts side, the National Autoparts Industry (INA) reports record plant capacity utilization and employment levels and expects growth of 5% in 2015.

INA president Oscar Albín Santos said 2014 was “a very good year and we’re going to continue with this very strong boom in 2015, which means many more jobs,” citing growth in the United States as the reason for the strong performance.

Numbers provided by the National Statistics Institute for January through October show plants were operating at an average of 85.6% capacity, while transmission parts makers were at 91.3% and seats and interior accessories at 91.9%.

Employment was also up, rising from 568,257 jobs in October 2013 to 611,394 a year later.

Parts plants will continue to operate three shifts, said Albín Santos, some will be expanding and new ones will be arriving, from Puebla to Nuevo León. Among those is aluminum component maker Nemak, owned by the Mexican conglomerate Alfa, which last month announced a US $125 million plant to be built in García, Nuevo León. It will create 500 new jobs, the company said.

Sources: CNNExpansion (sp), La Opción (sp)

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