Mexico is a North American country that lies south of the United States of America. Owing to the US authority, Mexico is often not included in the discussions related to North America and its culture.
However, you would find it interesting to know that even though Mexico doesn’t have a rich history in the automotive industry, it is the sixth largest manufacturer of automobiles globally.
But most of the homegrown brands in Mexico focus on targeting the domestic markets and often fail to compete with international brands like Volkswagen, Ford, Chevrolet, BMW, etc. If you wish to learn about various indigenous Mexican car brands, continue reading this article, which will acquaint you with them.
11 Mexican Car Brands In 2022
Because of the strategic location of Mexico, i.e., lying close to the USA and Canada, a lot of automobile manufacturing takes place in the country.
However, local Mexican brands are very few and lack any international reputation. These Mexican car brands often aim to profit from the local market rather than export them to foreign nations.
Some of the indigenous Mexican car brands are as follows:
- Elfi Motors
- Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos
- Inferno Automobili
- Ron Automoviles
- SR Motors
These are discussed at length below:
1. Elfi Motors
Elfi Motors is the first car brand on our list of indigenous Mexican car brands. Elfi Motors is similar to another Mexican car brand, Zacua, in terms of its vehicle design and goals.
The company works toward building small electric vehicles which damage the environment least possibly. It thus frees its customers from the guilt of damaging nature.
Since its inception, Elfi Motors has produced two cars: Moto Taxi TA3 and Jimmy KR. Jimmy KR is comparatively more expensive than Moto Taxi TA3.
Both these cars cater to the local Mexican customers and cannot be bought outside Mexico. The main customers of these miniature vehicles are taxi drivers, so it is likely that if you ever witness these cars, you will see them in the form of a taxi on Mexican streets.
Both these cars are described with the adjective ‘small’ but have space for belongings and other stuff at the back, in addition to seating for two. While marketing for the two, the company presents these cars as more efficient rather than merely an alternative to others.
2. Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos
The second Mexican car company on our list is Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos. This company has been shut down and is not operational now. It was earlier called Willys Mexicana.
It was headquartered in Mexico City. The company was closed when the Mexican government acquired it, along with American Motors Corporation.
As we have noted earlier, Mexico was one of the leading global automobile manufacturers, but the manufacturing took place primarily for non-Mexican companies.
Vehículos Automotores Mexicanos was one of those companies that built cars for brands like Chrysler, Renault, Jeep, etc. Its purpose was to produce vehicles of these companies on a large scale for sale in Latin America.
The company gradually developed some flagship vehicles, like VAM Classic, VAM Gremlin, AMC Matador Coupe, AMC Matador, etc. You can witness these vehicles at classic car dealerships. These are now referred to as VAM and AMC cars.
The debt default crisis that Mexico faced in the 80s led to the decline of this company’s fate. The government of Mexico sold this company to Renault, a French automotive company, to repay the debt and escape the vicious debt default cycle.
3. Inferno Automobili
Inferno Automobili is another Mexican car brand that is one of the finest brands of Mexican origin. It is known for its enhanced use of technology to create innovative products for its customers.
Like many other Mexican car brands, the company started as a manufacturer of components or vehicles for other companies. It worked for building components of Lamborghini models for over two decades.
However, eventually, it built its cars, out of which the Inferno Exotic is the most famous. Apart from that, it is currently working on building a 1400-horsepower hypercar with a top speed of 249 mph.
It is planning to develop these supercars in small batches. The company hasn’t announced any release date for these cars, but its planning to carry out the production in Italy.
Inferno Automobili uses a unique combination of silver, zinc, and aluminum to create a metal foam that constitutes its cars. The company asserts that this material increases safety without making automobiles bulky.
Inferno Automobili is thus one of the few Mexican car brands which have or intend to have any international operations. It also has a website and an Instagram page, which keeps us updated about new developments.
The following Mexican car brand on our list is Mastretta. The company owes its name to its founder Daniel Mastretta. He founded this automotive company in 1987.
Mastretta is headquartered in Mexico City. The company is unique and distinct from other car brands owing to the versatility of its products. Because of its excellence and similarities with Ferrari are often called the ‘Ferrari of Mexico.’
Mastretta began its journey of automobile manufacturing by building microbuses in its initial years. After being engaged in this for 2-3 years, it started producing and selling kit cars.
The first kit car produced and sold by Mastretta was Unediseño-Mastretta MXA. These vehicles were developed using Volkswagen’s car models as a base.
The Unediseño-Mastretta MXA car kit quickly became a huge success, attracting international customers. After witnessing its success, the company planned to develop another car in a limited number.
This car was a Mastretta MTX, a two-door coupe equipped with a five-speed manual transmission system and a two-liter turbocharged engine. Mastretta produced this car for four years, 2011-2014.
The fifth car brand in our list of Mexican car companies is Solana. Moises Solana founded this company in 1936. The company is thus named after the family of its owners.
This car company is distinct from other Mexican car companies because it is more of a niche type and doesn’t focus on the scale of production or sale. It concerns itself only with the production of vintage-style racing cars.
The company’s focus on quality rather than quantity can be discerned from the fact that it has produced less than 50 cars since its inception in 1936.
The earlier vehicles produced for racing purposes had a single seat and were very slow compared to the modern racing cars because of the single-cylinder engine.
The company achieved great heights with the efforts of Jose Antonio Solana, Moises Solana, and Francisco Javier Solana. Moises Solana won many racing contests with the help of cars built by this company until he got injured during a race while driving a McLaren.
This company’s most recent and famous car series was the Deportivo Series II. Its cars were characterized by a tubular space frame and a Datsun engine. Besides, the company’s internet game is not up to the mark; its website is under reconstruction.
6. Ron Automoviles
Ron Automoviles is another car company developed in Mexico. Compared to the other Mexican car companies, it is of a recent origin.
Commentators say it is still in the prototype stage, which means it builds vehicles to solve consumers’ problems or cater to their demands. It is headquartered in Guadalajara.
Currently, the company is engaged in the production of two cars, namely the R07 and RXX. Being of a recent origin, the makers of this company understand the importance of presence on the internet, and thus it has a website which updates us about the developments.
The R07 is a light-framed street car, having a suspension with around 20 adjustment points. RXX, on the other hand, is a sports car with two electric motors and a carbon-fiber chassis. It intends to build these vehicles in a limited number.
Although Ron Automoviles is less known outside the Mexican state of Jalisco, it seems to have the potential to generate international reputation and demand.
The following Mexican automaker on our list is Zacua. It is one of the most prominent Mexican automakers, with a high reputation for using the latest technology in building customer-friendly vehicles. Zacua has pioneered the movement towards environment-friendly electric cars in Mexico.
The company’s website, which keeps us updated about the innovations made by Zacua, claims that it is the very first Mexican electric car brand. By adopting electricity as the fuel for its vehicles, it aims to fasten the movement towards zero-emission energy-efficient cars.
The company has its headquarters in Polanco. It was founded by a company called Motores Limpios S.A de C.V. in 2017. The first manufacturing plant of this company was set up a year later.
The company since then has established two car models called the MX2 and the MX3. Both these are small cars, accommodating a maximum of two people, including the driver.
After each charge, the vehicle can move up to 100 miles. The top speed of both cars is 53 mph. Both these car models are expensive but are green and have a scope for savings in the long run.
DINA, or National Diesel, is another automotive company based in Mexico. It is one of the significant Mexican car companies and one of the few Mexican automobile producers exporting outside Mexico.
The Mexican national government founded National Diesel in 1951 to manufacture large vehicles like buses and trucks. The current owners of this company are Grupo Empresarial G.
The primary function of DINA is to produce vehicles that could cater to long-distance travel- either domestic or international. Consequently, its target groups include urban centers and manufacturer coach buses.
Besides, the company has strategic partnerships with other automobile manufacturing companies like Chrysler and Caterpillar that help it innovate and develop over time. Recent technological developments include working towards ‘green buses,’ with higher fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.
Though the company has its headquarters in Hidalgo, its centers are situated throughout the Mexican nation, in Guadalajara, Puebla, and Monterrey. It has developed various functions like making toy replicas of its buses and training programs that teach individuals how to sell its buses.
The third last car company on our list is Rebaque, which refers to not only a Mexican car company but also an F1 racing entrant.
You must be delighted that F1 refers to the Formula One team, the highest category for international racing for formula racing cars, single-seater and open-wheel. The vehicle and the company are named after Hector Rebaque, their founder.
The foundation of this company was laid in the year 1977. Rebaque’s primary interest was developing a vehicle that could compete in racing competitions, notably the Grand Prix.
Till now, the company has developed two cars. These cars were not built independently but were heavily drawn on car models from other companies. Its cars had bodies of Lotus, while engines of Ford.
VUHL is the second last automobile manufacturing company featured in our list of famous Mexican car brands. The VUHL stands for ‘Vehicles of Ultra-Lightweight and High Performance.’
As the name of the company suggests, it was set up to produce high-performance vehicles. It is headquartered in Mexico City. The company was founded in 2010 by two brothers, Iker Echeverria and Guillermo.
So far, the company has launched just one product, the VUHL 05, which has an exciting pronunciation as ‘vool oh five.’ This is a high-performing sports car listed in the B-segment. The car made its first public appearance in 2013 at the Royal Automobile Club, London. Customers could access it only after two years.
The company has a website, which you can visit to know more about and to remain updated about its latest developments.
11. SR Motors
SR Motors is the last car company on our list of Mexican car brands. It is a comparatively new car brand that aims to introduce innovations in Mexico’s automobile manufacturing industry. The company focuses on developing handcrafted vehicles by enhancing artistic elements and pristine engineering.
The company has its headquarters in Monterrey. Unlike many other companies, which build on vehicle designs of other companies, SR Motors is committed to making its designs entirely by itself.
It doesn’t outsource any design at any point in the car-making process; its designers do the tedious job of sketching from the initial phase to the final product.
SR Motors has a significant social media presence; it regularly posts pictures of its products on its Instagram page. The company even displays vehicles regularly at various car shows.
After five years of its inception, SR Motors has successfully enabled one of its vehicles to attract international attention. This most successful vehicle produced by SR Motors is ‘The Spartan.’ Apart from this, other famous car models from this company are Ophidia, Hydra, etc.
After reading this article, you must have figured out the irony of the Mexican automotive industry. While it is a hub of automobile manufacturing, it has few homegrown brands.
However, this minority should not be confused with a lack of diversity within these brands. Despite being few, these Mexican car brands offer a great deal of variety in terms of their features.
This article will familiarize you with the different brands that economize the domestic Mexican market.
Although Zacua, Inferno Automobili, and DINA (National Diesel) are the most reputed brands known for building innovative vehicles, the Mexican car industry is not limited to them and includes many more car brands.