It's been well-known for some time that Audi planned to build an assembly plant in North America, but exactly where hadn't been disclosed. Until now.
San José Chiapa, in the State of Puebla, in Central Mexico is the winning location in this round of the auto plant sweepstakes, further validating that country's emergence as an auto-making powerhouse – and leaving Canada sorely wanting for such investment.
More than a dozen locations were looked at, compared and evaluated, Audi says. The selection was confirmed today by the Audi Board of Management and the Group Management of Volkswagen.
Site conditions, logistics links, infrastructure, well-qualified employees and living quality were all decisive criteria for the choice of location, the company says.
Other factors in favor of San José Chiapa were its central location, good logistics links and proximity to highly reputable universities and colleges of advanced technology.
"The chosen location is an ideal base from which to supply international markets from Mexico," said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. "We are delighted that the Mexican government and the state of Puebla are so supportive of our project."
This new plant marks a major milestone in the growth required as part of Audi’s Strategy 2020, the company said.
"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," said Frank Dreves, Audi Board Member responsible for production.
Audi will build the successor to its current Audi Q5 SUV model at its Mexican plant, with a planned annual output of 150,000 units.
Construction work on the plant buildings is expected to begin in mid-2013, with production scheduled to start in 2016.