Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘audi mexico’

Audi Reveals Trio of New Models in Paris

Modial de l’Automobile spotlights new Q5, S5 Sportback and RS3.

by on Sep.29, 2016

Audi is shifting production of the next-gen Q5 ute to its new plant in Mexico.

With a record number of new products in the pipeline, Audi had plenty to show off during its Paris Motor Show news conference Thursday, a trio of new offerings targeting a wide range of global product segments.

Already the most popular luxury crossover on the market, the Volkswagen subsidiary is hoping to build even more momentum with the launch of a completely new Q5 sport-utility vehicle. Also on hand, Audi rolled out the new S5 Sportback. The third global premier not only marked the launch of the new RS3 Sedan but the debut of the maker’s new Audi Sport sub-brand.

The Journal of Record!

“These three new models symbolize what our brand stands for,” said Rupert Stadler, the Audi AG CEO. Actually, that’s not entirely true. Unlike its two major German rivals, Audi put much of the focus on performance during its news conference, something of a surprise considering how much it has emphasized battery-car and other green technologies in recent years.

(more…)

US Auto Imports Running at Record Level

New plants in Mexico expected to widen the gap.

by on Aug.05, 2015

Honda CEO Takanobu Ito, (center right) during groundbreaking ceremonies for the maker's plant in Mexico. Honda recently began building the Fit there.

Despite the rapid expansion of “transplant” assembly lines operated by a wide range of foreign-owned manufacturers, U.S. auto imports hit an all-time record during the first half of 2015, with no sign of slowing down.

If anything, the rapid expansion of Mexico’s production base could spell even bigger automotive trade deficits in the years ahead, experts warn. Autos and automotive parts accounted for about a third of the overall U.S. trade deficit in June, meanwhile.

The Leader in Global Automotive News!

Automotive imports rose by $10.8 billion, to $171.5 billion during the first half of 2015, according to a newly issued report from the U.S. Census Bureau. During the same period, auto exports dipped by $3 billion, to just $74.8 billon. (more…)

Volkswagen Investing in Biggest Automaker Goal

German maker putting up nearly 86 billion Euros on plans.

by on Nov.24, 2014

VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said the company plans to invest nearly 86 billion Euros during the next five years into the automotive division.

The Volkswagen Group, with its sights set on becoming the world’s largest automaker by volume, has announced an ambitious invest five-year investment plan that competitors will be hard pressed to match

The VW Group plans to invest a total of 85.6 billion Euros on new models, innovative technologies and its global presence in its automotive division during the next five years, VW Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said. In addition, the VW Group’s Chinese joint ventures will invest an additional 22 billion Euros.

The Leader in Global Automotive News!

Winterkorn said two-thirds of the total investment amount will flow into increasingly efficient vehicles, drives and more environmentally friendly production. This is the result of the group’s investment planning for 2015 to 2019 discussed by the VW Board Supervisory Board. (more…)

New Audi Plant Rises Out of the Mexican Dust

German luxury maker takes a $1.3 billion risk with next Q5.

by on May.22, 2014

The next-generation Audi Q5 will be produced at the maker's new Mexican assembly plant.

A steady stream of trucks roars across the parched field kicking up swirls of dust. The new Audi assembly complex is quite literally rising out of the high plains desert, an hour outside of the city of Puebla, the maker pouring another 19 feet of soil atop the two square miles of barren land it is has acquired for the project.

Audi is the latest in a fast-growing line-up of manufacturers to invest in Mexico, the maker drawn to the country for both its low labor costs and, perhaps more importantly, the numerous free trade agreements the Mexican government has negotiated.

http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/about/subscribe

Your Global Source!

That will make it easy to use the new, $800 million plant as the sole source for the maker’s next-generation Q5 sport-utility vehicle. Indeed, Audi has already laid out plans to double the factory and shift even more production there from Germany.

“This marks the point at which we will build more cars outside Germany than at home,” notes Klaus-Peter Koerner, who will manage production at the facility when it opens in mid-2016.

(more…)

Booming Sales Put Volkswagen of America Back in the Black

First profit in over a decade.

by on Mar.29, 2013

Workers at the new VW plant in Tennessee have had trouble meeting the growing demand for the American-made Passat.

For the first time since the original Beetle dominated the American import market, Volkswagen of America is moving solidly back into the black.

The German maker’s U.S. sales and marketing arm had steadily lost sales, share – and lots of money – ever since Asian rivals like Toyota and Honda became dominant forces in the market back in the late 1970s. In fact, VW’s decline was so severe that the maker came close to abandoning the U.S. in the early 1990s.

The Last Word!

But, over the last several years, it has picked up significant momentum with a mix of new products, aggressive marketing – and the addition of its first U.S. factory in decades, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

(more…)

Audi Picks Puebla for New North American Plant

Plant will be 40 miles from existing VW factory.

by on Sep.04, 2012

The new plant will build an updated version of the Audi Q5 crossover, starting in 2016.

Audi will build a new “ground-up” assembly plant in the southern Mexican city of Puebla, a factory it will use to supply the U.S. and a number of other markets around the world.

The factory will be located near another assembly line operated by the luxury maker’s parent Volkswagen AG and used to produce vehicles including the latest VW Beetle and Jetta models.  When it goes into operation in 2016, the Audi plant will have the capacity to produce up to 150,000 vehicles annually.

Your Automotive Source!

“We are proud that Audi, a leading European premium manufacturer, has chosen our country as a future production base,” said Puebla state Gov. Rafael Moreno Valle.

Audi has been debating the need for a North American plant for more than a decade.  The issue has been pressed by the maker’s rapidly expanding sales, especially in the Americas, where it long lagged behind better-known German brands BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

(more…)

Mexico Auto Output to Jump 38% in 3 Years

Low wages, good location offset concerns about the ongoing drug war.

by on Aug.30, 2012

Workers in Puebla gathered to celebrate the launch of production of the latest VW Beetle.

While Mazda may have abandoned its decades-old joint venture with Ford, transferring production of the Mazda6 sedan back to Japan, the maker isn’t walking away from North American production entirely.

By mid-decade, the Japanese maker plans to open a new factory in Mexico to produce smaller products like the Mazda3.  And it isn’t alone.  Honda, Audi and Nissan are among the growing list of automotive manufacturers who have announced big plans for Mexican plants.  Mercedes-Benz is also expected to add an assembly line South of the Border to complement the factory it currently operates in Alabama.

It’s all expected to add up to a whopping 38% jump in automotive production in Mexico over the next three years – an additional 1 million vehicles, according to the head of that nation’s investment promotions agency.

Your Trusted Source!

“Other companies are exploring the possibility of opening facilities in Mexico,” Carlos Guzman, president of ProMexico, told the Bloomberg News Service. “We expect a very good period of five to seven years in Mexico in terms of growing (automotive) exports.”

(more…)

Audi Opts for New Plant in Mexico

Anticipates cost of less than $2 billion.

by on Apr.19, 2012

Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler introduces one of the maker's new models.

After years of debate, luxury maker Audi has finally won approval from parent Volkswagen AG to build a new North American assembly plant that could help fuel its record growth in the U.S. and other markets.

But the maker of products like the A6 and Q7 has decided to locate the facility in Mexico, rather than the United States, it has announced.

“As an established carmaking location, Mexico offers an excellent economic basis for Audi production operations,” said Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler. “Mexico is one of the world’s top ten automotive locations and offers a blend of tradition and experience.”

Your Trusted Source!

Mexico now has significantly more production capacity than its own market needs might justify, industry analyst note, and continues to gain more rapidly.  Nissan recently announced a multi-billion-dollar project near Aguas Calientes, with alliance partner Mercedes-Benz considering a nearby site. And Honda earlier this month broke ground on a new plant in the country that will produce the subcompact Fit, among other models.

(more…)

Audi May Get Go for New North American Plant Tomorrow

But maker reportedly leaning toward Mexico v US.

by on Apr.17, 2012

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, shown here with the etron concept, reportedly wants the new plant in Mexico.

The long-delayed decision on whether to build an Audi plant on this side of the Atlantic could be resolved as early as tomorrow, insiders suggesting that parent Volkswagen Group will formally give its approval on Wednesday.

But other reports caution that the new factory is more likely to go into Mexico than the U.S. Mexico has become a hot spot for global automotive manufacturers looking to take advantage of its central location, low manufacturing costs – and the extensive array of automotive free trade agreements Mexico has lined up with countries around the world.

Subscribe Now - It's Free!

The parent VW Group is apparently supporting the idea of building the new plant in the States, according to Germany’s Automobilewoche magazine.  But Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has been lobbying for a site in Mexico.

VW recently opened a new factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee and has seen a sharp surge in demand for the Passat model produced there.  That has led to a rapid expansion of capacity in Chattanooga.  VW may prefer to take advantage of the supply and distribution network set up to support that factory.  And it might see an advantage to placing a plant in the U.S. as a way to help spur demand in one of its weaker markets.

While Audi has been setting sales records in the United States, it still lags sharply behind key competitors BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus, even though the VW brand is now one of the top sellers in the global luxury market.

The “Made in USA” label could prove important in boosting sales, Michael Macht, the VW Group’s manufacturing chief, told Automotive News earlier this year.

But there are plenty of reasons why Audi CEO Stadler appears to be favoring Mexico, sources stress.  Indeed, VW has long favored the Spanish-speaking nation where it has been building such models as the Beetle.

The typical Mexican automotive assembly plant’s total labor costs run about $8 an hour, according to industry data.  Quality has proven extremely high.  There is an extensive supplier network and reasonably good distribution system for completed vehicles.

Among other things, Audi might be able to directly tap a new powertrain plant in Silao, Mexico, which will launch production next year and offer capacity of up to 300,000 engines annually.

Meanwhile, Mexico has signed more automotive free trade agreements than any other country except Israel, meaning minimal duties on products exported from the country.  That could be seen as particularly useful to supply Audi’s growing sales in not only the U.S. but emerging markets, like Brazil, Chile and Argentina, in South America.

Audi isn’t the only high-line maker weighing its Mexican options.  Mercedes-Benz recently announced that it will build a second North American plant to supplement the existing facility in Alabama.  While officials only say they are considering several options, insiders have told TheDetroitBureau.com that the German maker is leaning heavily towards a site in Aguas Calientes.

That would put it adjacent to, and perhaps even on the actual campus of, a new Nissan plant announced earlier this year.  Mercedes’ parent, Daimler AG, has been rapidly expanding its partnership with the Euro-Asian Renault-Nissan Alliance. Among other things, that includes providing the MFA small car platform that will be used for a production version of the Infiniti Etherea concept vehicle.

The Daimler plant, if it goes to Aguas Calientes, may produce vehicles for both Mercedes and Nissan.

As for Volkswagen, both the Chattanooga plant and the Audi facility would become critical pieces in the maker’s plan to achieve global dominance by 2018, when its various brands aim to collectively sell at least 10 million vehicles annually.