Honda plans to build a transmission plant in Mexico, for which it will invest $470 million.
The transmission plant in Mexico will be opened in the second half of 2015 and will manufacture 700,000 continuously variable transmissions annually. Honda said that the facility will have 1,500 employees and will be adjacent to a plant which will begin manufacturing Fit subcompacts in 2014.
Over the past years, many automakers, especially Japanese ones, have invested billions of dollars to expand in Mexico, which is an appealing export base due to its favorable trade deals with the EU, Latin America and the US. Mazda will also build a plant in the same state chosen by Honda, where it will build Mazda2 and Mazda3 vehicles and also small cars for Toyota, while Nissan is close to finish its $2 billion plant at the end of 2013.
Auto production in Mexico dropped 11.2% in March, the first fall since April 2011, as the Easter holiday fell in March this year, reaching 238,519 vehicles, the lowest level since December, according to the Mexican Automobile Industry Association.
“These figures are very sensitive to the number of working days and this always happens when we have Holy Week falling in different months,” said the Mexican Automobile Industry Association spokesman. “We’ll have to compare the two-month period of March and April with the same two-month period from last year.”