Audi rings

No surprises here. On a day in which Audi has dominated the news – by buying Ducati and unveiling a new concept for the Beijing auto show – it completes the hat trick by announcing that its new factory will be built in Mexico. Production is slated to begin in 2016, but Audi only announced that the plant would be building "an SUV model." Speculating on which that might be, we imagine it would make sense for one of the brand's high-volume nameplates to be built here in North America, which would point to the Q5.

Audi parent Volkswagen already operates facilities in the Mexican cities of Puebla and Silao, so the company is intimately familiar with the nuances of building cars in the country. That should help in getting the facility up to speed quickly, although Audi board members emphasized finding the right location in Mexico in their statement announcing the decision.

Audi also said it could supply vehicles from Mexico worldwide, and reiterated its goal of selling two million vehicles each year by 2020. That, of course, is part of Volkswagen's stated intent of becoming the world's largest carmaker by the end of this decade.
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Audi to build production plant in Mexico, maintaining its drive for internationalization
  • Supervisory Board welcomes plans for Audi plant in Mexico
  • Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG: "Excellent basis for sustainable growth"
The decision has been made: AUDI AG Board of Management and Supervisory Board of AUDI AG approved plans to build a North American plant in Mexico. The exact location for the new plant, which will manufacture an SUV model starting in 2016, will be chosen by AUDI AG later this year.

"As an established carmaking location, Mexico offers an excellent economic basis for Audi production operations," declared Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. Mexico is one of the world's top ten automotive locations and offers a blend of tradition and experience. The group parent Volkswagen already has an automotive plant in Puebla and an engine plant in Silao. "Good infrastructure, competitive cost structures and existing free trade agreements played a significant role in the choice of Mexico," emphasized Stadler. "This trailblazing move will help us safeguard our position on the world market. Our German locations, too, stand to benefit from it."

"The new plant will become a fully fledged member of the Audi production network and will implement the very latest standards in terms of resource efficiency and production processes," stated Frank Dreves, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Production. "Audi is all about premium quality no matter what the location." Following on from the policy decision, the next step will be to conduct a detailed examination of various locations in Mexico. AUDI AG aims to choose the exact location within the course of the year. "The factors that we will take into account include not just the specifics of the real estate and its logistical links," emphasized Thomas Sigi, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Human Resources. He also cited quality of life as a decisive criterion. "It is important for us to be able to find well-qualified employees there," continued Sigi, referring to the need for an effective infrastructure of schools and universities.

Peter Mosch, Chairman of the General Works Council of AUDI AG, added: "Stepping up production capacity safeguards our growth and at the same time guarantees the capacity utilization of the main plants, which we envisage will increasingly take on the role of lead plants for our technologies. That means developing modern production methods and strategies, using new materials and joining technologies, and addressing the field of electric mobility. For the employees, this offers attractive, secure jobs and additional career prospects. An employment guarantee will also be agreed."

"It will be possible to supply customers worldwide with cars built in Mexico to Audi's renowned standard of quality," said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Marketing and Sales, emphasizing the importance of an international presence for international success. Schwarzenbauer added: "In launching production operations in Mexico, Audi will enhance its own competitiveness and move significantly closer to its sales target of two million units per year by 2020."