Audi’s management board today officially approves San Jose Chiapa, Puebla, as the site of its planned North American assembly plant.
Located in Central Mexico, the new facility is expected to launch output of Q5 cross/utility vehicles in 2016, marking the first time for Audi production in North America.
The auto maker says it looked at more than a dozen sites before choosing San Jose Chiapa, which it selected for its logistic links, infrastructure, well-qualified employees, living quality and the overall condition of the available property.
“We are delighted that the Mexican government and the state of Puebla are so supportive of our project,” Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler says in a statement.
Production chief Frank Dreves promises the new facility “will be the most modern in the Audi production network for its efficient use of resources and production methods.”
San Jose Chiapa’s proximity to technical universities and colleges also played a role in its selection, Audi says.
“When deciding on a new site, it is important that we can find well-qualified employees there,” says Thomas Sigi, head of human resources and labor. “Internationally recognized schools for the children of employees sent on assignment to Mexico are also crucial.”
Audi’s Works Council supports the move to add capacity in North America.
“The new location in Mexico will unlock further growth for us, and also protect capacity at the main plants,” General Works Council Chairman Peter Mosch says. “The latter will increasingly step into the role of lead plants for our technologies in developing modern production methods, using new materials and joining techniques, and with regard to electric mobility.
“For the employees, this solution offers not just secure jobs, but also additional career prospects.”
Mosch says labor has negotiated an employment guarantee agreement with Audi that runs through 2018.