Production and exports of automobiles hit record levels in 2013, climbing 1.7 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, from the previous year, the Mexican Automotive Industry Association, or AMIA, said.

Automakers established in Mexico produced 2.93 million vehicles last year, 1.7 percent more than in 2012, the association said Wednesday.

Exports rose to 2.42 million units, 2.9 percent higher than in 2012, when 2.35 million vehicles were sold abroad.

In December, automobile production reached 164,221 units, down 9.1 percent from the same month of 2012, when 180,597 vehicles were manufactured.

Auto exports, however, climbed to 161,208 vehicles in December, up 4.2 percent from the 154,724 units sent to foreign markets in the last month of 2012.

The main export markets for vehicles manufactured in Mexico were the United States, which accounted for 68 percent of the total; Latin America, 12.7 percent; Canada, 8 percent; and Europe, 5.9 percent, the AMIA said.

In December, the United States received 70.6 percent of the automobiles exported from Mexico, while 10.7 percent went to Canada, 10.1 percent to Latin America and 3.7 percent to Europe.

Leading automobile manufacturers with operations in Mexico include Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen. EFE