They are everywhere. You can see them on the streets of Mexico City, in sponsored videos by influencers on social media… and even on the shirts worn by members of local soccer teams.
Chinese-made cars are increasingly popular in Mexico, a country that manufactures vehicles for export to the United States. And they’re gradually becoming a new point of tension between the two North American countries.
Mexico is the second-largest importer of Chinese cars after Russia, according to data from the supply company LGS, which specializes in examining logistics between China and countries in Latin America. According to the firm, over the past year, Mexico has purchased 260,000 Chinese vehicles.
The Mexican Association of Automotive Distributors (AMDA) reveals that the share of the car market that belongs to Chinese brands rose by almost 6% this past September, to reach 19.4% of overall sales in the first nine months of 2023. Most of these vehicles are imported. Demand is increasing so rapidly that, in October, the port authorities in Michoacán announced that there weren’t enough trailers to remove the Chinese cars from their ships. This resulted in significant traffic congestion.
“We are concerned by how the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is preparing to flood the United States and global markets with automobiles, particularly electric vehicles (EV), propped up by massive subsidies and long-standing localization and other discriminatory policies,” read the text of a letter by five members of Congress, who wrote to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, November 7.