2013 Audi Q5Enlarge Photo
In April, Audi confirmed Mexico as the country where it would build its first North American plant. This week the automaker has revealed the exact location for the plant: San José Chiapa, in the Mexican state of Puebla.
The location is an obvious one due to the area’s existing Volkswagen facilities and suppliers. However, Audi points out that there were other factors in favor of San José Chiapa, including its central location, good logistics and proximity to reputable universities and technical colleges.
Construction of Audi’s new Mexican plant will start next summer, with production at the future plant expected to commence in 2016. The first model the plant will be responsible for will be the next-generation Audi Q5 compact crossover. Planned annual output will be approximately 150,000 units.
Vehicles produced at the Mexican plant will primarily be sold in the North American region though Audi did mention that worldwide exports are possible.
According to Audi’s board member for production, Frank Dreves, quality of the cars coming from the Mexican plant will not be an issue. “The new plant in San José Chiapa will be the most modern in the Audi production network for its efficient use of resources and production methods,” he explained.
A number of premium automakers including BMW, Infiniti, Lexus and Volvo are considering starting production in Mexico to hedge against currency fluctuations as well as improve production and logistic efficiencies. On top of this, a plant in Mexico would also provide a launching pad for automakers into the burgeoning South American market, which many are predicting to be the next major emerging market after China, India and Russia.