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Chocolate cars

Today, 14 February, is Valentine’s Day, so let’s talk about chocolate. But it’s not so sweet.

Have you ever heard of the term ‘chocolate car’? It’s a story from Mexico, where smuggled (and therefore unregistered) vehicles are called chocolate cars. Naturally, they are not of good background and there are a small number of them stolen in the USA and other countries. It is estimated that these unregistered vehicles account for up to 25% of the total number of vehicles in circulation in Mexico.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMRO) has granted a special measure to legalise these problematic chocolate cars in the northern states for a limited time in 2021, allowing illegally imported cars to be officially registered if they pay 2,500 pesos (about USD 17,000). This special measure has been repeatedly postponed after the expiry date, most recently from December 2022 to March 2023.

There are positive opinions about the legalisation of chocolate cars, such as that it is a ‘relief measure’ for low-income groups and that regular registration makes tracking easier and is effective as a ‘security measure’, but car sales industry associations have repeatedly issued harsh comments because it puts pressure on regular car sales. Speaking of chocolate not being sweet, the chocolate sauce used for cooking in Mexico is not sweet either.