Image credits: Nima Sarram
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News Article

Mexican Auto Sector Opposes Call to Regularize Illegal Vehicles

By Alejandro Enríquez | Mon, 07/05/2021 - 20:59

Representatives from the Mexican automotive sector requested a meeting with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to review the latter’s suggestion to regularize illegally imported used vehicles. "The introduction and commercialization of used vehicles coming from the US that do not comply with all customs formalities is a felony that has unsuccessfully being addressed through 19 legislative and executive measures between 1979 and 2011," wrote AMDA on a statement.

During a morning briefing in Tijuana, Baja California, on June 27, the President said that the federal government will regularize used imported vehicles. Two days later, back in Mexico City, he reiterated his idea: "I made the commitment that we will carry on with the regularization in Baja California, we will start there and then we will move on to other states in the Northern Border," he said.

The move has met with strong opposition from Mexico’s automotive industry. "It becomes a serious problem for the domestic market and for rightful vehicle owners when used vehicles introduced to the country present appealing mechanical conditions," said AMDA. According to the organization, many of the vehicles being imported are cataloged by US insurance brokers as "salvage" or “totalled.” "These vehicles cannot be introduced to the Mexican market as they represent a serious risk to their owners and third parties."

The import of used vehicles has been traditionally linked with criminal activities, given that imported vehicles are often used in illegal affairs. "Used imported vehicles are notoriously used in criminal activities because they are easily scrapped," notes AMDA. Considering these circumstances, Guillermo Prieto, Executive President of AMDA, said that the regularization of these vehicles is "close to illegal."

If President López Obrador’s measure to legalize these cars moves forward, AMDA foresees that vehicles sold in Mexico will further depreciate. "Legalizing smuggling will only exacerbate this phenomenon (depreciation), this is why it becomes essential to address the issue of illegal vehicles in the country through law enforcement," said the organization. COPARMEX, recently expressed a similar position on the regularization of used imported vehicles.

AMDA's recalled its commitment to work together with the Mexican government to find the right solutions for the sector, the internal market, safety, the environment and the economy. The organization highlights that the country’s economic recovery could be hindered by this measure. "It will be regrettable that amid an economic and health crisis there are measures that hurt not only the internal market, but also the rule of law and the assets of Mexicans," AMDA said.

Photo by:   Nima Sarram
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst