Kia Motors’ growth puts it at No. 7 in Mexico

By Elliot Bullman

Sales up almost 50%, while Toyota recorded its best year ever

Asian automakers Kia and Toyota were standout performers in a weaker new car market in 2017, and German manufacturer Mercedes-Benz led the luxury segment.

South Korean manufacturer Kia Motors achieved strong sales growth in Mexico last year to become the seventh most popular make in the domestic market.

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The auto maker sold 86,700 vehicles in 2017, a number that the company said represented an almost 50% improvement on the previous year. Kia also ended the year well, selling 8,080 cars in December.

“These figures reflect the confidence of the Mexican consumer in one of the most complete ranges in the Mexican market, which in addition to its proven quality and design, offers a seven-year guarantee to back up the brilliant performance of Kia models,” Kia Motors México said in a statement.

The automakeropened its first dealerships in Mexico in 2015, but expanded quickly andby July last year had overtaken Ford and Mazdato capture 5.5% of the new vehicle market.

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The company’s best-selling vehicle last month was the Kia Rio, which is made in its plant in Pesquería, Nuevo León.

The next most popular models were the Kia Sportage and Kia Forte. The latter is also produced in its Mexican facility, whichstarted operations in May 2016.

Japanese automaker Toyota also achieved healthy sales figures in Mexico last year. The company sold 105,464 cars in 2017, making last year its best ever in the Mexican market.

The figure represented a 0.5% improvement on 2016 sales and placed it fourth in the market behind Nissan, General Motors and Volkswagen.

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The top sellers for Toyota in 2017 were the Hilux, which sold just over 19,000 units, followed by the Yaris sedan, Avanza, Corolla and Hiace.Hiace vans are commonly used for public transit in several parts of Mexico.

At the luxury end of the car market, German maker Mercedes-Benz led the way in 2017. It also broke its previous sales record in Mexico, achieving 22% growth on 2016 figures to sell 17,691 vehicles last year. The prestige auto maker is celebrating 25 years in the Mexican market in 2018.

Despite a decline of 9.1% in sales in 2017, Nissan remained the market leader with a total of 364,557 vehicles sold. It also manufactures five of last year’s top 10 selling cars in Mexico.

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