An auto industry leader has expressed concern that Mexico’s northern border could be reopened to the indiscriminate importation of used cars from the United States.
Guillermo Rosales Zárate, deputy general manager of the Mexican Automotive Dealers Association, said there is pressure to change the policy that regulates the importation of used cars even though “until today it has been successful.”
The pressure comes mainly from lawmakers and authorities in northern states, the news agency Notimex reported.
Rosales charged that abandoning the policy would represent a “very serious blow to the growth of the [auto] industry,” explaining that it would have a negative impact on employment.
He said several other industry groups, including the Mexican Auto Industry Association (AMIA), are also opposed to any move to change the existing policy, which has helped reduce the number of used vehicle imports from a peak of 1.3 million in 2006.
In recent months, Rosales added, efforts to “modify foreign trade rules are allowing [vehicle import] controls to be violated through fraudulent practices.”
Junk cars known as chatarras are brought into the country by importers and auction houses using phony documentation, he said. The policy as it currently stands is supposed to keep such cars out of Mexico.
“The increase in the traffic and commercialization of illegal vehicles in the border area, and even in northern states, is obvious. It’s a phenomenon that we observed decline over the course of 10 years but during 2018, it grew,” Rosales said.
He added that apathy and in many cases complicity on the part of state and municipal authorities in the north of the country had allowed the increase to occur.
He called on the government “to maintain the commitment to not give in to the pressure” to change the used car importation policy.
Around 150,000 used cars are expected to have been imported into Mexico by the end of the year.
Source: Notimex (sp)