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Mexico’s TMM is expected to announce soon a $US50 million contract to transport Ford vehicles across the country via its TFM railroad unit, a source close to TMM told Reuters.

TMM, Mexico’s largest shipping and railroad operator, reportedly is working on the final details of the multiyear contract with the Mexican arm of Ford, which operates about 130 car distributors in the country.

“There is an agreement with Ford but it is in the process of being implemented,” the source told the news agency. “It’s a national deal via TFM to distribute all Ford vehicles in Mexico … but there are some details pending before the official announcement can be made.”

Reuters said the new deal could help lift TMM’s financial results after it lost $45.4 million in the first quarter. About 70% of its revenue stems from Transportacion Ferroviaria Mexicana (TFM) operations.

The report noted that vehicle sales in Mexico have risen this year, the result of an economic recovery and attractive promotions by car dealers – sales to the end of May were up 14.2% compared with the same period a year ago.

Reuters said that Ford’s annual sales in Mexico have averaged 158,575 units over the past four years, behind General Motors, Nissan and Volkswagen.

While Ford exports most of its Mexican production to the United States – the country’s top trade partner – the company imports most of the units it sells in Mexico through the border, where TFM controls the main railroad too, the report added.