Auto exports from Mexico to Japan break records

Auto exports from Mexico to Japan broke records in 2023, by registering a year-on-year growth of 18%, to 484 million dollars, according to data from that nation’s Ministry of Finance.

These foreign sales increased from 290 million dollars in 2019 to 306 million in 2020 and then dropped from 437 million in 2021 to 412 million in 2022.

The Japanese market ranks fourth among the world’s largest, below China, the United States and India.

Among the companies that dominate this market are Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Subaru and Mazda.

Japan stands out for its advances in automotive technology, electromobility and high standards in safety and quality.

In 2023, auto imports to Japan totaled $12.555 billion, a growth of 17.7% over 2022.

Auto exports

Japan’s auto manufacturing industry is important to the country’s economic health: it accounts for 2.9 percent of the country’s GDP and 13.9 percent of manufacturing GDP.

However, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, since the mid-1980s, Japanese automakers have begun to manufacture vehicles outside of Japan and, today, about 2/3 of Japanese motor vehicle manufacturing is done overseas.

Auto exports from Mexico are among the most dynamic in the world, benefiting from its integration into the North American market.

Mexico’s foreign sales in this direction were only surpassed by those of medical instruments and devices (US$672 million) and pork (US$543 million).

Tax benefits

Considering all products, Mexican exports to the Japanese market amounted to 5.702 billion dollars in 2023, an amount 11.6% lower compared to 2022.

In 2022, 3,448,272 new passenger vehicles were sold in Japan, a decrease of 6.2% compared to the previous year, mainly due to supply chain disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

To note: in Japan, there are three types of passenger vehicles: standard, compact and Kei («light», the smallest road-legal passenger cars).

Kei cars, which account for more than one-third of total new passenger car sales, are popular because they are affordable to buy and maintain and qualify for tax and insurance benefits.


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