Mexico’s light-vehicle output in March jumped 10.6% from year-ago to 280,970 units resulting from a 17.3% rise in builds for export that offset a 12.7% drop in domestic production. 

Detroit auto makers posted mixed results, with Chrysler Mexico and Ford Mexico output climbing 31.8% and 10.5%, respectively, while GM Mexico assemblies fell 10.1%.

The Detroit Three, combined, saw a 6.6% gain in production to 138,397 units, compared with like-2011, according to WardsAuto data.

Asian auto makers fared better in March, with volume-leader Nissan Mexico’s output jumping 18.8% to 62,908 units. Honda Mexico and Toyota Mexico saw build rates rise 14.6% and 7.2%, respectively, compared with year-ago.

Volkswagen Mexico, the only European auto maker to produce LVs in significant volume, enjoyed a 10.5% increase to 56,159 units in March.

Total LV sales in Mexico last month grew 7.2% to 83,454 units, compared with year-ago, with cars sales rising 14.1% to 54,707 and light-truck deliveries falling 3.8% to 28,747.

Detroit auto makers’ new-car sales surged 21.1% to 17,150 units, led on a volume-basis by GM, which saw deliveries swell 23.5% to 11,996. Ford sales soared 39.9%, albeit on only 2,670 units. Chrysler deliveries were off 2.2% to 2,484.

Asian auto makers posted a 20.8% gain in new-car sales to 22,297 units.

Nissan led on a volume basis, climbing 29.4% to 16,212, compared with prior-year. Suzuki Mexico and Toyota also enjoyed solid months, up 31.2% and 19.4%, respectively.

European auto makers’ car deliveries slipped 0.3% to 15,360 units in March, compared with a 141.6% surge by Fiat Mexico, which began selling cars in the local market in June 2011.

Among individual nameplates, standouts included the Toyota Avanza, up 98.9%; Mercedes C-Class, up 80.2%; Volkswagen Beetle, up 159.9%; and Honda Civic, up 189.6%.

In the light-truck category, Detroit Three deliveries slid 14.9% to 12,269 units, compared with like-2011. GM and Chrysler were down 18.8% and 4.2%, respectively, while Ford’s results were down 22.7%.

Asian auto makers sold 13,562 light trucks in March, a 4.6% uptick compared with year-ago. Nissan sales were up 5.2% to 6,473, while Honda deliveries rose 29.1% to 2,857. Toyota light-truck sales dropped 4.2% to 2,468.

Among European auto makers, Jaguar Land Rover led the way on a percentage-basis, with light-truck deliveries surging 155.1% to 98 units. Volkswagen was the volume leader, up 16.7% to 1,384.

Mexico’s top-selling light-trucks in March included the Ford Transit van, up 33.4%; Honda CR-V, up 60.2%; Mitsubishi Outlander, up 30.2%; and Toyota Tacoma, up 33.9%.

bpope@wardsauto.com