Mexican financing effort aims to update truck fleet

| Tuesday, July 23, 2002

The Mexican government has unveiled a financing program intended to help modernize the country's aging trucking fleet, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

The government development bank Nacional Financiera, or Nafin, has begun a $73.8 million program together with heavy-truck manufacturers to lend small Mexican carriers up to 80 percent of the cost of a new big rig. International, Kenworth, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have offered credit lines for the program.

The effort is needed in view of plans to open U.S. borders to Mexican trucks, Mexican trucking officials say. On average, Mexican 18-wheelers have been on the road 16 years while most U.S. trucks have been in use about five years, according to news reports.

Juan Jose Guerra, executive president of Mexico's National Association of Bus and Truck Manufacturers, notes that an outdated motor emits up to 20 times more contaminants than a new motor.

Meanwhile, statistics from the U.S. Customs Service indicate that in fiscal year 2001, a total of 4,322,149 Mexican trucks entered the United States. Most entered via Texas (2,921,803); followed by California (1,023,597); Arizona (341,898); and New Mexico (34,851).

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