(Adds historical comparison)
MEXICO CITY, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Mexico’s auto production posted its biggest jump in more than 2-1/2 years in December, and should advance strongly in the next few years, the country’s industry trade group said on Thursday.
Production surged 27 percent from December 2013, the biggest increase since April 2012, Mexican Auto Industry Association (AMIA) data showed. Meanwhile, auto exports jumped 21 percent last month, it said.
Output in 2014 rose 9.8 percent from 2013 to a record 3.22 million units, while exports increased 9.1 percent to an all-time high of 2.64 million vehicles, AMIA said.
Mexican auto exports to the United States rose by 22.3 percent in December, but declined by 0.8 percent for Canada. Vehicle exports to other countries in Latin America were up 17.9 percent, while shipments to Asia soared by 115 percent, the association said. Auto exports to Europe, however, slid by 22.3 percent.
Local auto sales advanced by 11.7 percent last month to 133,273 units, AMIA said.
According to the Mexican government, the automotive industry has pledged some $19 billion worth of investment in the country since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office in December 2012.
By 2020, AMIA President Eduardo Solis said, he expected some 5 million autos to be manufactured annually in Mexico. (Reporting by Noe Torres and Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein; editing by G Crosse and Richard Chang)