Covering the Industry's Economic, Legal & Financial Issues

MexicanAutomotive covers the Mexican automotive and auto parts industries, and is published monthly in English and Spanish. MexicanAutomotive reports on general Mexican automotive industry topics, as well as economic, financial and legal issues affecting the North American automotive industry. Published by Cacheaux, Cavazos & Newton (CCN), subscriptions to MexicanAutomotive are free. CCN is an international law firm with offices in Texas and Mexico. The firm provides legal services in many practice areas including Automotive law to clients doing business in the NAFTA region.

Questions on Official Mexican Standard 163 and its Continued Suspension E-mail

Official Mexican Standard (NOM) 163 remains suspended until an appeal filed by Toyota and other members of the Mexican Automotive Industry Association (Asociación Mexicana de la Industria Automotriz or AMIA), including Nissan, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Volkswagen and Honda, seeking to nullify such standard, has been resolved. The purpose of the NOM is to harmonize fuel economy standards for new vehicles, with applicable standards in the United States and Canada, at 14.9 kilometers per liter (35 miles per gallon). Such standard would meet environmental regulations in the United States and Canada, where the majority of exported vehicles produced in Mexico are sold. Official Mexican Standard 163 was published for public comments on July 5, 2012 by the Federal Commission on Regulatory Reform and was pending publication in the Mexican Official Journal of the Federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación). However, on October 7, 2012, Toyota filed an appeal with the Mexican Federal Court of Tax and Administrative Justice, joined by the other members of AMIA mentioned above, protesting the National Consultative Committee of Environmental Standards’, which is part of Mexico’s Environmental Secretariat (SEMARNAT), decision to submit the draft NOM for public comment. Based on this, the standard will not be published during what is left of President Felipe Calderon’s term. Rodolfo Lacy, coordinator of projects and programs for the Centro Mario Molina, stated that putting the brakes on the proposed fuel economy standard will lead to many disadvantages in Mexico, which will continue to expend considerable public resources to import gasoline, delay the arrival in Mexico of hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as provide disincentives to automotive manufacturers to improve the technology of their vehicles’ fuel economy. “Toyota, in particular, is installing high-technology equipment in the U.S. and is transferring to Mexico pickup trucks that it can’t sell in the U.S.,” the environmental expert stated. The position taken by automotive manufacturers in Mexico on this issues contrasts somewhat with the positions they have adopted in the United States or Canada, where the automotive manufacturers generally have not sought to impede compliance with mandated fuel economy and efficiency standards, which provide a 14.9 kilometer per liter (35 miles per gallon) efficiency standard by 2016, which is the same standard that Mexico sought to implement. Mexico’s National Institute for Ecology estimates that the application of this standard would allow for a savings of 70,000 liters of gasoline and 4.2 million pesos in health benefits between the years 2013 and 2020.

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