BMW invests $1 billion in Mexican plant


BMW Group confirmed late last week it would spend upwards of $1 billion to construct a new vehicle assembly plant in northern Mexico. The company said it would see 150,000 units a year roll off the line near San Luis Potosí as it affirms the German automaker’s commitment to the NAFTA region.

“Mexico is an ideal location for the BMW Group and will be another important plant within our production network,” explained BMW board member Harald Krüger.

The project will create roughly 1,500 jobs in the first year of production. The automaker said assembly should start rolling sometime in 2019.

“The Americas are among the most important growth markets for the BMW Group. We are continuing our strategy of production follows the market,” he added.

BMW said it has maintained good relations with Mexican suppliers for many years and purchased products worth $1.6 billion last year. Mexico is also a strong sales market for the brand, which has has operated a local sales company in the country since 1994 and sold a total of 13,992 vehicles in 2013. That represented an increase of almost 18.3 per cent over the previous year.

This latest investment in Mexico comes just months after BMW said it would spend $1 billion to increase capacity at its Spartanburg, South Carolina plant. That cash influx was expected to push production capacity to 450,000 units by the end of 2016

A further $200 million would be invested to expand the joint venture carbon fiber plant in Moses Lake, Washington.

BMW follows recent news from Daimler and Renault-Nissan who said they would build a $1.6-billion factory in Mexico. That facility would product compact cars for Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti.

Mazda opened its latest small-car assembly plant in Mexico in March.