Sales of luxury autos in Mexico last year surged by between 38.2 percent and 406 percent, according to figures released by the Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA).

The association said BMW sales in Mexico last year surged 276.1 percent, rising from 544 vehicles in 1999 to 2,046 last year. Swedish automaker Volvo enjoyed the most dramatic increase in sales, at 406.4 percent: The Swedish car maker’s Mexican sales leapt from 233 units in 1999 to 1,180 units in 2000.

Peugeot sales last year increased by 170.6 percent; Porsche sales, 50 percent; Mercedes Benz, 41.1 percent; Audi, 39 percent; and Jaguar, 38.2 percent.

The main reason for the surge is that a free trade agreement between Mexico and the European Union, which applied from mid-year, substantially reduced import tariffs on European-made vehicles.