In the first seven months of this year, the Mexican port of Veraruz handled 508,312 finished vehicles, an increase of 31.2% on the comparable period in 2011.
The port authority said that Volkswagen, Ford and Chrysler accounted for the majority of models handled, with the balance built mostly by Toyota, Honda, BMW, Audi, SEAT, Peugeot, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar, Porshe, Mercedes Benz, Piaggio, Skoda and Alfa Romeo.
Another area of growing importance for the port is that of tractor units for trucks, passenger trucks and pickups.
According to the port authority, the figures not only reflect a recovery in the Mexican motor industry but also an improvement in port infrastructure and services. Nowadays, larger vessels can be accommodated, while intermodal movements have been given a boost thanks to improved investment in rail connections.
The port is now the top vehicle processing port in North America and last year handled almost 754,000 vehicles, including 588,000 exports. Terminal operations are handled by SSA Mexico and Veracruz Port Corporation.
Veracruz accounts for 70% of all finished vehicles business at Mexico's ports, with Volkswagen, Nissan, Ford and General Motors being the main exporters.
Mexico has become the focal point for much of the production growth in North America, with Chrysler opening a plant in 2013, Mazda, Honda and Nissan opening plants in 2014, and Audi planning to open its first North American plant in Mexico by 2016. Meanwhile, Ford, GM and Chrysler are also increasing capacity out of their current plants.
Mexico produced more than 1.6m units last year and is expected to see a 10% increase this year. An additional 1m vehicles will be produced in Mexico by 2015. The majority will be imported to the US and Canada.