According to sources familiar to the matter the Japanese and German company will build small Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz luxury cars at a Nissan plant in Mexico.
According to the two sources, the new $2-billion Aguascalientes plant, which will open late this year next to an existing Nissan assembly plant, is expected to build the new Infiniti Q30, a compact four-door hatchback that will share engines and some chassis components with the Mercedes-Benz GLA.
The compact crossover from Mercedes is similar in size to the Q30 and will go on sale next spring in Europe and next fall in the United States, Mercedes-Benz has said. The GLA is one of several candidates for future production at Aguascalientes, the sources said.
The final production version of the GLA and a concept version of the Q30 will make their public debut next week at the Frankfurt Auto Show and the GLA will be built initially at a Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt, Germany.
The Q30, which is expected to go on sale in mid-2015, could be assembled at two locations, according to a source at Nissan who asked not to be named. Initially, the car may be built at Nissan’s Sunderland plant in the U.K. for European customers and later at Aguascalientes for the U.S. market.
Both the Q30 and the GLA were designed around a new compact car architecture developed by Daimler and known internally as NGCC, for New Generation Compact Car, according to a European supplier source. It includes a flexible set of lightweight chassis components that will also be used to underpin the new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA sedan that goes on sale this month in the United States, and the 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric, slated to reach the U.S. market next summer.