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Latin America's Auto Giants Strive to Secure Markets

Nov 12, 2018 | 11:00 GMT
New Peugeot and Citroen cars await shipment on the pier in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in February 2017.

New Peugeot and Citroen cars await shipment on the pier in Rio de Janeiro in February 2017. Brazil's auto sector is aiming to expand beyond its domestic market, while its counterparts in Mexico have secured continued access to the massive U.S. market.

(DENYS YELMANOV/Shutterstock)

When it comes to Latin American automotive production, two giants dominate the scene: Mexico and Brazil. Together, they produced 6.8 million light and commercial vehicles last year, representing around 7 percent of the globe's total output. The two countries are also heavily integrated into global automotive supply chains, as Mexico's auto sector is closely linked to the United States, while Brazil's auto sector has tight connections to Argentina. Historically, however, the Mexican and Brazilian automotive industries developed in vastly different geopolitical environments. Mexico is an export-oriented powerhouse, shipping nearly 70 percent of its finished vehicle production to the United States. Brazil, on the other hand, mainly focuses on supplying its huge domestic market. And thanks to the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the future of Mexico's automotive market clearly lies in the same place as its recent past: the U.S. domestic market. Brazil, by contrast, will take steps to eliminate the...

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