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Toyota Eyeing Plant for Mexico

Maker reportedly eyeing several possible locations.

by on Sep.11, 2014

Toyota may be the next to head South of the Border.

Toyota may soon become the next major automaker to open an assembly plant in Mexico, following other global manufacturers including BMW, Kia and Mercedes-Benz, all of whom announced plans to set up operations “South of the border” in recent months.

Toyota, which already operates an extensive manufacturing network in the U.S. and Canada, would not be a stranger to Mexico. It already operates a so-called “kit car” plant in Baja, California an hour south of Tijuana, that assembles about 50,000 small pickup trucks annually.  But unlike other global manufacturers, Toyota has not built a full-scale assembly plant in Mexico, which has seen automotive-oriented investments boom in recent years.

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Mexico is already the world’s sixth-largest auto producing nation, with manufacturers including Detroit’s Big Three, Volkswagen and Nissan, firmly entrenched. Audi is in the midst of readying a plant near Puebla that will become the first to build luxury cars. Honda joined the procession in February, and, just since June, Kia Motor Corp. BMW AG and Daimler AG have announced plans for Mexican operations.

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Kia Announces $1 billion Mexican Assembly Plant

Factory set to open in 2016; add much-needed production capacity.

by on Aug.28, 2014

The new plant is expected to produce several small models, including a version of the Kia Forte Koup.

Desperate to add more much-needed production capacity, Kia Motors will become the latest automaker to open a new assembly plant in Mexico.

Intended to serve markets up and down the Americas, the $1 billion plant will begin operations in just two years, and will be tooled to eventually build as many as 300,000 vehicles annually. The facility is expected to produce a number of different compact models, according to the Korean carmaker, though it did not identify specific plans yet.

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The factory will become one of a growing list of automotive assembly plants operating in the Spanish-speaking country, Mexico already on target to become the sixth-largest auto-producing nation in the world as makers such as Nissan, Audi and now Kia set up shop or expand existing production facilities.

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“Imports” Planning Major Boost in North American Production

But Detroit marques also planning to up output.

by on Dec.20, 2013

Nissan, Honda and several foreign automakers are increasing the number of vehicles they produce in North America.

With the upcoming start of production at its new plant in Celaya, Mexico, Honda expects that as much as 90% of the vehicles it sells in North America will soon be produced locally. And it’s not alone. Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen and other so-called “imports” are steadily expanding their own production bases in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, ramping up regional production just three decades after Honda opened the first Asian-owned “transplant” assembly line in Marysville, Ohio.

In fact, a new study says foreign makers will account for well over half of all added vehicle production in North America by the end of the decade, primarily from new Japanese plants like Honda Celaya and the recently opened Nissan manufacturing complex in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

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While that may be worrisome for Detroit makers, it’s good news for those who want to see the U.S. – along with Canada and Mexico – bring back manufacturing that has, in recent decades, migrated offshore, said Mike Jackson, a senior manager at the consulting firm IHS Automotive, who said that, “At no time in recent years has the North American market been better positioned.” (more…)

Nissan Fires Up New Mexican Plant

$2 billion project could soon have a partner in Mercedes.

by on Nov.12, 2013

Nissan flipped the switch on at its Aguascalientes Plant in Mexico. The Sentra is one of many products it will export from the facility.

Nissan has officially switched on its sprawling new assembly plant in the Mexican industrial center of Aguascalientes, a facility that will become a major part of the maker’s planned growth both in Mexico and the rest of the booming Americas.

The new plant is the result of a $2 billion investment by Nissan that it calls the most advanced assembly operation it now operates anywhere in the world. But the project is actually just partially complete. Even as the first saleable car rolls off the line at Aguascaliente today, Nissan appears to have big plans for the future. And that could include the addition of a partner at the complex.

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Though a reported announcement failed to materialize during the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, insiders confirm that Nissan is working up final details that would have its alliance partner Mercedes-Benz assemble some of its own luxury vehicles on the Aguascaliente campus – a move that would require a significant expansion of the still-new factory. (more…)

Honda Latest to Add Plant in Mexico

South of the Border becomes the new direction for the auto industry.

by on Mar.29, 2012

Honda CEO Takanobu Ito, (center right) during groundbreaking ceremonies in Mexico.

Honda de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. has begun construction of a new plant in Central Mexico – making the Japanese maker just the latest to take advantage of Mexico’s low wages and strategic location.

The new plant will begin operation in 2014 with production of the Honda Fit subcompact model, said Takanobu Ito, president & CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Honda’s announcement comes barely two months after Nissan revealed plans for a massive, $2 billion assembly complex in Aguas Calientes, in Central Mexico – with Mercedes-Benz also considering construction of a new plant not far from the Nissan site.

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With this new facility in Mexico, Honda continues to advance its commitment to invest in and grow its operations in North America, Ito said. With growing demand for fuel-efficient vehicles, the new plant will increase Honda’s ability to meet customer needs for subcompact vehicles from within North America.

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Mexican Government Desperate to Assure Foreign Auto Investors

Countering fears as drug-related violence spreads.

by on Nov.18, 2011

Beetle production begins at the VW plant in Puebla.

Faced with a “frightening” rise in violence, the Mexican government is racing to head off a wholesale move away from the region that serves as the base for many foreign automakers and suppliers,

Mexican security services are offering special private briefings on the government’s strategy for combating violence across that violence-plagued nation, especially in the north where American companies have built hundreds of automotive factories over the past three decades.

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Sergio Rios, a representative of Pro Mexico, an agency of the Mexican government designed to encourage foreign investment, said the special briefings are designed to explain to investors the country’s strategy to combat the drug-related violence that has created havoc across northern Mexico. The briefings are also designed to offer some reassurance about the broader security situation, which is giving some companies pause about investing in the violence-plagued nation.

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