Report – BMW could build a plant in Mexico image

The German automaker could be studying building up its production forces for the American continent with a new plant construction in Mexico.

Ludwig Willisch, CEO of BMW of North America, has declared the automaker has been in preliminary discussions with “local governments” in Mexico about the possibility of building a factory in their districts. He declined to specify which areas of Mexico that BMW is studying or which vehicles BMW would build there.

In an interview, the BMW CEO also declared the need for further developments before BMW decides to move forward and build vehicles in Mexico: a free-trade agreement between the United States and Europe is a top priority, as it would provide BMW (and other automakers) with the flexibility and cost structure to expand its North American manufacturing base.

Still, as such negotiations take lots of time, Willisch said BMW wouldn’t commit to another North American plant until the free-trade agreement is signed, so in regards to the time-table for a Mexican plant to produce BMW’s he declared “It could be as long as 10 years from now.”

BMW manufacturing officials are already preparing the automaker’s new $261 million plant in Santa Catarina, Brazil, for launch sometime next year. Also, the manufacturer moves very quickly – they needed just 23 months from groundbreaking to launch output of the factory’s first 318i — considered the fastest factory startup in automotive history.