According to the latest data made available by WardsAuto posted this week, U.S. consumers are gravitating towards sport-utility vehicles instead of sedans. The most popular automobile purchased this year have been vehicles produced in Mexican factories. So far this year, there has been a 16% production increase in Mexican factories over that from last year. According to the WardsAuto data, one in five cars produced in North America are made in México.
Complicating the Trump Made in America agenda is the fact that the popular Dodge Ram and Chevrolet Silverado are made in México. Production of the Chevrolet Equinox was moved out of Canada and the United States over to México.
The Jeep Compass has seen a 177% increase in sales this year over last. The Compass is also built in México. Meanwhile, output in the United States is down. The Chrysler factory in Belvidere is down by 93% this year.
U.S. consumers are more concerned about price, reliability and type of vehicle over where they are built. This runs counter to the Donald Trump administration that U.S. consumers would favor domestic cars over those made in México.
Canada, México and the United States are starting NAFTA renegotiation talks next month.
Although Donald Trump ran on the platform of Making America First and bringing jobs back to the country by ending trade agreements, Trump’s back peddling on aggressive NAFTA talks indicates that the U.S. business community and state governments heavily dependent on NAFTA have prevailed on him to keep NAFTA largely intact.
The automobile sector is the largest economic sector in NAFTA. This latest car sales data demonstrates that NAFTA will not be so easily cancelled by the Trump administration.