Paccar subsidiary Kenworth Mexicana S.A. de C.V. and Mexican truck maker Consorcio G Grupo Dina S.A. de C.V. are reportedly re-evaluating their plans to invest in Mexico after the country relaxed import restrictions on pickup trucks.
According to local news reports, Kenmex General Director Samuel Means III told a conference of commercial truck manufacturers, "We had important investment plans we are now re-thinking." He said Kenmex has invested $300 million in Mexico during the last three years and the firm had planned to spend "along the same lines" this year.
A Dina executive issued a similar warning. Both were attending the annual meeting of ANPACT, Mexico's association of bus, truck and trailer manufacturers.
The companies are concerned that new Mexican import laws could undermine the market for used trucks here. The government last week ended its ban on the importation of pickup trucks that are more than 10 years old, allowing aging trucks to enter the country for a $200 fee.
Vehicle manufacturers reportedly blame the move on politics, charging that government officials hope to win the votes of many Mexicans who buy inexpensive used vehicles in the U.S. then drive them across the border. Although Kenmex and Dina don't build pickups, company officials reportedly worry that the government may also ease import restrictions on commercial vehicles.
"The very same people who should be enforcing the law are changing it to endorse law breakers," Means told Bridge News. "How can you have confidence in an investment environment like that?"