According to unnamed industry sources, the second largest US automaker, Ford Motor, is planning to reveal a $2.5 billion investment going to Mexico, the blue oval being the latest global player to spend billions in the country’s rapidly rising auto industry.
According to the people, who declined to be named ahead of the official announcement of the investment plan, Ford will spend $1.3 billion to expand and upgrade its existing factory in northern Chihuahua state, preparing it for the production of two new diesel powertrains. The rest would be used for a new transmission facility set in the central Guanajuato state, with the two expenditures to be announced in Mexico City on Friday – Ford would also celebrate its 90th year of presence in the country, with President Enrique Pena Nieto on site for the event. While the automaker itself declined to comment on the speculations, a Mexican official hinted the Chihuahua investment alone would create around 4,000 new workplaces.
From official industry data, Ford is the country’s fourth-biggest automotive exporter, with 108,417 vehicles sent from Mexico during the first three months – most of them to neighboring United States. Ford last updated a production facility back in 2008 through a $3 billion expenditure meant for the Cuautitlan factory in central Mexico that started to build the popular Fiesta model. Another plant is located in the northern state of Sonora, where it makes the Fusion subcompact and the premium Lincoln MKZ. Numerous automakers have started to produce locally in Mexico in recent years, thanks to a cheap labor market, numerous free-trading agreements and geographic proximity to the United States.