MEXICO CITY – German auto-making giant Volkswagen said it plans to invest $1 billion in Mexico over the next three years and that that country is also a possible option for a new engine plant in North America.
VW executive Jochem Heizmann, a member of Volkswagen AG’s executive board, made the announcement during a ceremony to inaugurate a new section of Volkswagen de Mexico’s plant in the central Mexican city of Puebla, where a special version of the company’s Jetta model will be manufactured.
The company said that “under ‘Strategy 2018,’” plans are to invest up to $1 billion in Mexico over the next three years.
Referring to the new engine plant, Heizmann said Mexico is the company’s first option and it hopes to announce its final decision shortly.
The VW production chief added that the new plant “is to supply our factories in Puebla and Chattanooga with the latest generation of engines from 2013. These engines will set the benchmark in terms of consumption and emissions.”
Referring to the expansion of the Puebla plant, Heizmann said the project “is a major step toward the future for Volkswagen in Mexico. As a result, Puebla remains the main supplier of compact-class vehicles in North America.”
At the ceremony, Volkswagen de Mexico CEO Otto Lindner said the new Jetta will be a “special contribution” to the celebration of the bicentenary of Mexico’s independence and added that “more than 70 percent of the parts installed in the Jetta come from Mexican suppliers.”
He added that the vehicle is equipped with an unprecedented amount of parts developed and designed “by our more than 900 Mexican engineers.”
Volkswagen’s plant in Puebla, some 125 kilometers (77 miles) from the Mexican capital, has an annual production capacity of 525,000 units and is “one of the largest car manufacturing plants in the Volkswagen group.”
The press release said a portion of the $1 billion to be invested over the next three years will go to “constructing a new production plant for the Beetle successor.” EFE