We are the first Chinese automaker to come to Mexico in 10 years after FAW’s failed attempt to enter the market. BAIC is now an example of the quality of Chinese vehicles. The fact that our units are now part of rental car operator Europcar’s fleet is evidence of our quality and competitive price standards. Working in a fleet means meeting quality and price standards or rental companies will not adopt these vehicles. BAIC started selling cars in Mexico in June 2016 and 22 dealerships across the country have opened since then. JAC is already in Mexico and other Chinese companies are looking for partners to help them enter the country. I think up to two new Chinese automotive companies will enter Mexico by 2H18. We assembled 500 cars in 2017 and our plan for 2018 is to finish another 1,000 and bring more vehicles ready for assembly.
We are ready to embrace new and greener automotive technologies. Unfortunately, Mexico’s infrastructure is not prepared. Other countries are already experiencing a technological transformation as gasoline and diesel consumption declines while methanol, electricity and hybrid alternatives grow. In advanced economies, it will take 10 to 12 years for these new technologies to become a key part of their industry but in Mexico it will take the same time for these technologies to start permeating the market. There are benefits in owning an electric or hybrid car, including no ownership tax and less gasoline expenditure, but the initial investment to acquire one of these models is still too high. If the government does not offer fiscal benefits for leasing eco-friendly solutions, this market will not grow. Limiting deductibility in leasing is frankly retrograde and Mexico is the only country in the world with such regulations.