North America is on pace to produce its most vehicles since the turn of the century, falling just 53,000 units short of 2000's vehicle record of 17.3 million, and a lot of that is courtesy of Mexico's booming auto production.

Our neighbor across the Rio Grande produced over three million vehicles for the first time this year, a 12-percent gain. Toyota, Kia, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, Chrysler and BMW have at least discussed the idea of Mexican production during the past year, with a number of automakers already building vehicles there.

While the country's affordable labor costs are surely attracting automakers, Automotive News points to a number of other positives for OEMs. For one, logistics costs are lower, and the Mexican peso is pegged to the US dollar, so building in the Latin American country allows foreign brands to avoid wild currency fluctuations. Mexico may be a NAFTA member, but it also has a series of unilateral free trade agreements, making exports quite attractive, as well.

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