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Report On Business NAFTA’s auto shift: Production heads south – and not just to Mexico

NAFTA

Auto production: Headed south

The southward shift in vehicle production in North America has been profound since NAFTA came into force in 1994. Much of the growth has been in Mexico, but output has also risen dramatically in such southern U.S. states as Alabama and Mississippi. Production has grown in Mexico, as has that country's share of North American vehicle output, making it the big winner from the trade agreement.

Drag the divider right to see auto production levels in 1995; drag it left to see production in 2015.



United States

Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee have been bright spots for vehicle production. Investment by offshore-based companies has flooded into those states.

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Canada

The flood of new automotive investment in the 21st century has generally bypassed Canada. Vehicle production is at about the same level now as it was in 1993, but down from a peak of more than 3 million during the NAFTA period.



Mexico

The once-junior partner in NAFTA has been the big winner in automotive investment. Mexico's share of North American production now exceeds 20 per cent and is set to rise higher. Mexican plants assembled just 8 per cent of all North American vehicles in 1993.


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