Mexican factories built 16% more sport-utility vehicles in the first half of 2017 than they did during the same time last year as U.S. production dipped 5%, the Wall Street Journal reported.
President Donald Trump called on U.S. automakers to keep jobs in the country, prompting initiatives like the one from Ford Motor Co (F) - Get Report to scrap plans for a plant in Mexico and instead invest in Michigan production.
But slowing U.S. demand for sedans has tempered such moves, leading some automakers to shed workers or schedule downtime domestically. As gas prices stay low and SUVs grow in popularity, the sedans and compact cars U.S. plants traditionally focus on have fallen out of style.
At the same time, value of light-vehicle imports to the U.S. from Mexico jumped 40% through May.
General Motors (GM) - Get Report moved some production of its popular Chevrolet Equinox to Mexico from the U.S., and Canada and will add other new model production to factories in Mexico in the coming years.
Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) - Get Report recently moved Jeep Compass production to Mexico, where the model has seen a 177% increase in production. Fiat Chrysler's Illinois plant output has dropped 93% year-to-date.
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