South Korea’s Kia Motors Corp. announced Wednesday its plans to build a $1 billion vehicle assembly plant in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon.
The project will likely generate a further $1.5 billion in investment by firms hoping to supply the Pesqueria plant, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said during a joint appearance with Kia Motors CEO Hyoung-Keun Lee.
“Having the option to invest in any country, a company of the prestige of Kia Motors chose Mexico to grow and expand its investments at the global level,” Peña Nieto said at the ceremony with Lee and Nuevo Leon Gov. Rodrigo Medina.
“Besides its solid macroeconomic stability, Mexico has experience in the automotive industry,” the president added.
The plant, which is expected to begin operations in 2016, will have the capacity to turn out up to 300,000 units a year.
The project will create thousands of jobs, Peña Nieto said.
Mexico led Latin America in vehicle production during the first six months of 2014 and the country’s auto exports were up 11.2 percent over the same period last year, he pointed out.
Recent months have seen companies committing to $10 billion in new investment in Mexico’s auto sector, the president said.