Audi received Volkswagen’s help and approval on building a new plant in Mexico, for the Audi Q5 sport-utility vehicle.
Although the officials didn’t confirm the decision the plant is expected to begin in 2015 production for the Audi’s Q5 sport-utility vehicle. VW’s supervisory board will ratify the plans at its next scheduled meeting on April 18th.
Supplier sources told WardsAuto in November that Audi was zeroing in on Mexico as its chosen locale, and CEO Rupert Stadler cites that country’s labor flexibility and lower-wage advantages in a Jan. 8 interview with a German newspaper,” according to the automotive news website.
Because Audi is a Volkswagen brand, many in the industry have questioned whether Audis would be built at Chattanooga’s new Volkswagen facility, where employees are currently producing Passats. In July Stadler declared that the problem was ‘when’ not ‘if’ Audis will be made in North America, and leaders were planning to increase local supply. After that, in May, at VW’s plant opening, Volkswagen AG CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn said Audis “could be” produced in Chattanooga but did not elaborate.
The decision to build a factory for Audi in Mexico is not yet official and employee representatives on VW’s supervisory board will only agree on the investment if the companies make a final agreement on jobs and production.