Exports of heavy-duty cargo trucks to the U.S. helped propel truck makers in Mexico to their best year ever, as production increased 20.6% year over year (y/y), according to Miguel Elizalde, president of Mexico’s National Association of Bus, Truck and Tractor Producers (Anpact).
During 2022, the 16 truck makers that are members of Anpact manufactured 195,789 heavy vehicles, beating the previous record of 195,499 vehicles manufactured in 2019.
Exports of trucks in 2022 totaled 166,878 units, an 18% y/y increase.
“We broke our historic production record for cargo vehicles, which is good news, showing that we are in full economic recovery. We managed to exceed the pre-pandemic figures. With this we can practically guarantee that Mexico maintains its place as a world leader in cargo production,” Miguel Elizalde, president of Anpact, said during a recent videoconference. “The figures are very positive and were triggered mainly by the export of tractor-trailers.”
Truck makers and parts manufacturers with assembly plants and factories in Mexico include Freightliner, Kenworth, Navistar, Hino, International, DINA, MAN SE, Mercedes-Benz, Isuzu, Scania, Cummins and Detroit Diesel.
Exports of Mexican-made trucks to the U.S. in 2022 totaled 157,522, an 18% y/y increase from 2021. Exports to Canada for the year were 3,995 vehicles, a 19% y/y increase, and exports to Colombia were 2,856 units, a 25% y/y increase.
Freightliner was the top truck producer and exporter in Mexico for the year. The company built 114,951 trucks, a 16% y/y increase, and exported 103,578, a 14% y/y jump.
International Trucks Inc. produced 62,334 units in 2022, a 30% y/y increase, and exported 56,201, a 33% y/y rise.
Kenworth manufactured 15,531 units in 2022, an 11% y/y increase, and exported 7,055 trucks, a 3% y/y decrease from 2021.
Elizalde said Mexico’s truck makers need to keep the momentum going by taking advantage of nearshoring and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a free trade pact among the three countries. Elizalde said Mexico must also settle an ongoing energy dispute with the U.S.
“The USMCA as a commercial platform lays the foundations for developing supply chains and allows the countries of the region to have a mutually beneficial commercial and legal framework that allows for greater integration,” he said. “The heavy vehicle automotive industry has enormous potential to continue to maintain its leadership, which will depend on regional energy security, guaranteeing the supply of electricity and clean fuels.”