German automaker BMW said it will spend $1 billion to build a plant in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi with capacity to produce 150,000 units a year.
“I am delighted to announce this new investment,” BMW director Harald Krüger said during an event at Los Pinos, official residence of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
BMW expects production to begin at the plant in 2019 with a workforce initially numbering around 1,500, he said, adding that thousands of additional jobs will be created in the medium term.
“Mexico is an ideal location for the BMW Group and will be another important plant within our production network,” Krüger said.
The automaker currently operates 28 factories in 13 countries, including the United States.
“This decision underscores our commitment to the NAFTA region. We have been building BMW cars at our U.S. plant in Spartanburg (South Carolina) for the past 20 years,” Krüger said.
Peña Nieto hailed the choice of Mexico for the new facility, noting that the factory’s planned annual output is equal to nearly 10 percent of BMW’s global sales in 2013.
Last Friday, Franco-Japanese alliance Renault-Nissan and Germany’s Daimler announced plans for a $1.4 billion plant in the central Mexican state of Aguascalientes.
That complex is expected to employ as many as 5,700 people to turn out 300,000 Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz vehicles per year.
Mexico is now the world’s eighth-largest producer of motor vehicles.