Mexico's exports of passenger cars and light trucks fell by 5.4% in the first nine months of the year in relation to the same period of 2001, according to the Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA), writes Stephen Downer.

DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Nissan and Volkswagen exported 1,002,757 vehicles, AMIA said.

But Mexican new vehicle production increased 0.3%, reaching 1,370,531 between January 1 and the end of September, according to AMIA.

The domestic market remained strong, with car companies retailing 706,670 new vehicles in the first nine months, 8.4% more than in the corresponding period of 2001, AMIA said.