Construction work has begun on the new engine plant in Silao, located in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato. The foundation stone was laid at a ceremony attended by the state Governor, Juan Manuel Oliva Raminez, as well as Hubert Waltl, member of the Volkswagen brand board of management.
From 2013, state-of-the-art production technology will be used to manufacture the latest generation of VW engines at the Silao plant.
"This engine plants writes a new chapter in Volkswagen's success story in Mexico spanning more than 50 years," Waltl said. "Innovative products, skilled and motivated employees and efficient, environmentally-friendly production processes are the basis for our global growth."
Strengthening its market position in North America is an essential component of the Volkswagen Group's global growth strategy. In this context, the company is planning annual sales of one million vehicles in the USA from 2018, based on models such as the New Jetta and New Passat, tailored to the demands of US customers and produced at North American plants with a high degree of localization.
From 2013, the new factory in Silao will supply latest-generation engines to the vehicle plants in Puebla, Mexico, and Chattanooga, TN. The Silao facility is designed for an annual capacity of 330,000 engines. Investment in developing the new engine as well as building the new plant runs at $550 million.
VW will be creating approximately 700 new jobs at the Silao plant in the medium term. Further jobs in the region will also be created at suppliers and in the logistics sector.
Otto Lindner, Chairman of Volkswagen de Mexico, drew attention to growth in Mexico's automotive sector in 2010; Volkswagen accounted for 435,000 locally produced vehicles last year. He said: "Silao is a big step towards the future for us. We are triggering new momentum for growth and employment in the Mexican automotive industry."
Currently, the Volkswagen Jetta, Golf Wagon and New Beetle are produced in Puebla, Mexico. Production of the New Passat, developed specifically for the US market, will begin in Chattanooga, TN in the first quarter of 2011.