With much fanfare, Audi inaugurated its new plant in Puebla on September the 30th. The German manufacturer new site will produce the Q5 SUV with a majority of Mexican components.
“In total, more than 100 companies will provide components for the manufacture of our new Audi Q5, which translates into a 71 percent of national components in the new SUV” said Bernd Martens, Board Member for Procurement for Audi last Friday. In the medium term the company expects this percentage to increase up to 90 percent, providing work for many national suppliers.
Choosing Mexican suppliers is part of a strategy for the German car manufacturer, “using national components allows us to protect our cost from currency fluctuations, while using the extended network of free trade agreements Mexico has,” said Martens.
Alongside the plant, a Just In Sequence (JIS) suppliers park was also inaugurated. The park received a US$130 million from Audi, just a tenth of the entire investment it was made on the plant. The suppliers’ center permits a speedy communication process between suppliers and logistics companies. According to Martens the JIS park is one of the 60 greenfield and brownfield projects Audi has brought to Mexico with the new plant
Companies such as Faurecia ET, HBPO, Thyssen Krupp Automotive, truck and Wheel, TI Automotive, Kuehne+Nagel and Syncreon have already installed facilities in this new park.
Audi expects the new plant to produce up to 150,000 Q5 units in a first stage. However, automation of the plant is also on the plans, which would increase the number of cars produced, including the hybrid and electric model of the SUV by 2018.
This new plant is the most modern site of a premium brand in the entire continent.
Source: El Economista