The cars that Mexicans are going crazy for

By Elliot Bullman

For brands like Hyundai and Renault, SUVs already account for over 60% of their total sales.

The SUV auto segment grew 8% between January and May this year. Brands like Hyundai are taking advantage of the trend with new models like the family version of Santa Fe.

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The Sport Utility Vehicle, or SUV, is the new favourite in the Mexican auto market: a fifth of all vehicles sold in Mexico in 2016 were of this type, which is a significant proportion considering that the prices of most of these models exceed 300,000 pesos.

"The truck segment is the fastest growing segment in the industry. Specifically the one of small trucks ", said Miguel Luz, director of marketing of Hyundai Motors of Mexico.

Last year, sales of this type of model grew 17.8% in the country. And in the first five months of the year, sales are already up 8% from the same period in 2016, according to data from the Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA).

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For brands like Hyundai, these types of models represent 65% of their total sales. In Mexico, the automaker offers three cars of this class, and last week launched the family version of Santa Fe, which unlike the sport version, has three rows of seats with seating for seven passengers.

The Nissan Kicks, which launched last year, is already the third best-selling SUV in Mexico. Meanwhile Renault also recently launched a new model, Capture, to strengthen its offer in this segment.

Duster and Koleos compete in the mid-sized SUV segment. These two models account for 60% of sales. “Now with Captur we complete the range, "said Carolina Arce, brand manager and product of Renault of Mexico.

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The success of these vehicles in the Mexican market is due to several factors. On the one hand, supply has grown due to increased global demand, Arce said.

On the other hand, increased access to credit has favoured the sale of these models in the Mexican market. "The difference in a monthly payment between a mid-size sedan and a pick-up truck is already very small," Luz said.

Finally, automakers have developed smaller engines and lighter steels for this type of vehicle, which has greatly reduced their fuel consumption. "Our Crete truck, for example, offers a performance of 16 kilometres per litre," said Luz. "A sedan gives you the same."

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