Mexico wants to increase by 14.8 % its finished vehicle exports in nine years, says one of the country's top trade officials.

Miguel Hakim, an undersecretary with Mexico's foreign affairs department, says the government is encouraging automakers to use excess capacity in their plants, a possible increase of 200,000 units annually.

Mexican President Vicente Fox spoke to automakers and politicians in Detroit last month, promising to upgrade the skills of Mexican workers to meet this goal. “We are working to establish a special automotive program at the college level and to develop world-class technology and design centers,” says President Fox.

Mexican assembly plants currently build 1.8 million vehicles per year, with 450,000 earmarked for domestic sale and the remaining 1.35 million destined for export. Mexico's goal is to see the domestic figure remain stable while exports increase to 1.55 million vehicles.