CELAYA, Mexico — Mexico is on track to become the United States’ No. 1 source of imported cars by the end of next year, overtaking Japan and nearing Canada in manufacturing.
The boom lifts hopes that Mexico can make enough jobs to pull millions out of poverty, but critics caution that most of the new jobs pay too little. Mexico’s poverty rate has hovered between 40 and 50 percent for 20 years. Mexico is expected to surpass Canada by 2015. “Mexico is now one of the major global players in car manufacturing,” said Eduardo Solis, president of the Mexican Automotive Industry Association. Total Mexican production has risen since 2007 to nearly 3 million cars a year.