The growth of trade between Mexico and the U.S. has fueled that country's need for medium and heavy duty trucks, said Jose Manuel Canal, president of the National Association of Manufacturers of Buses and Trucks (ANPACT).
Canal recently told Mexico Business Monthly that 1999 demand is expected to reach approximately 23,500 units with "good opportunities" for the year 2000. Domestic production for 1999 is projected at about 50,000 units.
Sales will also get a boost from efforts to upgrade fleets by several Mexican transportation firms. Currently the average age of a Mexican truck is 16.3 years. The total truck fleet is about 450,000 units, of which only about 4.5% have been replaced. Lack of affordable financing hurts domestic sales, he said. So does the fact that some 20,000 units enter Mexico illegally each year.
According to Mexico Business Monthly there are 5,000 transportation firms operating in Mexico plus "countless" truck owners with only one or two vehicles. Annual transportation revenue is about $6.8 billion and expected to grow at an average 3% annually over the next three years. U.S. manufacturers are the largest parts suppliers to the Mexican truckng industry. Mexican imports of parts for trucks are estimated at $1.2 billion a year and expected to grow 6% over the next few years.