The South Korean automaker is now exiting an unofficially capped investment period, announcing it’s the latest company to join the Mexico auto plant spree.
Kia Motors Corp., a subsidiary of Hyundai Motors, revealed it plans to build a new factory in the central American country – which looks set to become the automotive center of the continent. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said yesterday the automotive would invest at least $1 billion in the new manufacturing facility. In addition, the government official said the carmaker plans to further attract some $1.5 billion from Kia suppliers in Mexico.
During the event, Kia Vice Chairman Lee Hyoung-Keun detailed that the new facility would have an annual production capacity of 300,000 units and would be ready to start car production in the first half of 2016.
“Having the option of investing in any country, a transnational company as prestigious as Kia Motors chose Mexico,” said Pena Nieto. “This shows the confidence global investors have in the present and future of Mexico.”
Thanks to the latest plant openings – from automakers such as Nissan, Honda and Mazda – car production in Mexico could surpass for the first time the 3 million units milestone in 2014 according to the Mexican Automobile Industry Association. The latest announcements come from the premium side of the business though: in June Daimler and Nissan said they would jointly build a factory for Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti models, with an investment of one billion euro ($1.3 billion). BMW quickly followed in July and announced its own plans for a new, $1 billion Mexico facility.