In the presence of Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Volkswagen de Mexico yesterday confirmed its plan to invest one billion US dollars in expanding its Puebla plant. This had already been announced by the Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn, in February last year at the New Beetle anniversary celebrations.The funds will be used to expand production facilities and develop a new model.
The President was received at the Puebla plant by Mario Marin, Governor of Puebla State, and Otto Lindner, CEO of Volkswagen de Mexico. Construction work has already begun on the new production facilities which will start assembling a new model built exclusively in Mexico for global markets from mid-2010.
In his speech, Lindner stated: "Our strategic objectives for Volkswagen de Mexico are clear: we are aiming for further growth in Mexico and to extend our market leadership. Our new models are the basis for this growth. In addition, we will continue to increase our purchasing volumes in North America and especially in Mexico." Lindner thanked President Calderon and Governor Marin for their support, particularly during the present difficult situation facing the automotive industry.
The growth of the Puebla plant will allow Volkswagen to increase its daily capacity by 300 units to 2,100 vehicles. The expansion of the plant will cost $410 million US. The remaining investment is earmarked for supplier tooling, and in particular for development of the new model in which Mexican engineers play an instrumental role.
The announcement in Puebla is part of a larger North American strategy. July 15 marked the one year anniversary of Volkswagen AG's decision to build a US manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, TN. The one billion US dollar, state-of-the-art plant will start production in 2011 and will produce 150,000 vehicles a year, with a car specifically designed for the North American market. Both the Puebla and Chattanooga announcements reinforce the company's goal of selling 800,000 Volkswagens in the United States by 2018.