UPDATE 2-Mexico auto output, exports drop in March vs yr ago -AMIA

Mon Apr 8, 2013 11:15am EDT

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MEXICO CITY, April 8 (Reuters) - Mexico's auto production and shipments dropped in March compared with the same month a year earlier, the Mexican Auto Industry Association (AMIA) said on Monday.

Automobile output fell 11.2 percent to 238,519 vehicles, while exports slid 9.7 percent to 204,475 units over the same period, the industry group said.

Car making is a key component of Mexico's manufacturing sector.

March exports to the United States decreased 7.3 percent to 128,761 vehicles, while shipments to Latin America were down 31.7 percent to 29,424 units.

AMIA President Eduardo Solis told reporters that the drop in output and exports was attributable to March holidays.

"All of the figures - sales, production and exports - are altered due to the Holy Week effect," said Solis.

Both Thursday, March 28 and Friday, March 29, were national holidays in Mexico.

In January, Solis said Mexico's 2013 auto output is expected to total between 3.15 million and 3.2 million vehicles.

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