2011 Audi Q5
While Audi is yet to pick an exact site, the automaker states that the decision will be finalized by the end of the year.
Production of an Audi SUV will commence at the new plant in 2016, most likely the next-generation Q5.
Vehicles produced at the Mexican plant will primarily be sold in the North American region though Audi did mention that worldwide exports are possible.
The move is part of Audi’s overall strategy to reach global sales of two million vehicles by the year 2020.
The automaker’s CEO Rupert Stadler said that Mexico offers an excellent economic basis for Audi production operations. Some of the benefits pointed out during today’s confirmation were good infrastructure, competitive cost structures and existing free trade agreements.
For these reasons, plus others, a number of premium automakers including 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 and India.