Although Mexican dealers sold 4,399 new cars and light trucks daily in April, 0.5% more than the 4,378 delivered daily a year earlier, one-less selling days kept volume for the month from setting a benchmark.

The 114,378 light vehicles delivered over 26 selling days in April were 3.2% lower than the  April record of 118,219 set in 2016, when the month a 27 days, 

In addition to a shorter selling period, a 2.9% decline in car sales, to 71,865 from prior-year’s record 76,791 units dragged down the industry’s April performance.

Although light-truck sales saw a modest 0.5% daily-rate increase, to a record 42,513 units from prior-year’s 41,428, that was not enough to offset the car-sales decline.

In addition to a shorter selling period, consumer confidence and interest rates may have played a part in the sluggish April performance.

Although consumer confidence, at 83.9%, was sharply lower than prior-year’s 95.9%, it was seen as having less impact on LV sales than the Mexican central bank’s March month-end interest rate increase. It was the bank’s fourth hike this year, making financing at least somewhat more expensive.

Whether April’s performance was an aberration or the beginning of a downturn will not be known at least until May’s sales are reported.

LV deliveries of 491,986 in January-April are 5.8% higher than the 465,179 units sold in like-2016.   

abinder@wardsauto.com