By Ryan Beene, Crain News Service
SAN JOSE CHIAPA, Mexico — After nearly four years of preparation following site selection, Audi A.G. opened its first assembly plant in North America on Sept. 30 to produce Q5 crossover vehicles for global export.
The $1.3 billion factory in San Jose Chiapa will have capacity to churn out 150,000 Q5 crossovers annually, much to support sales in the U.S. Once fully operational, the plant will become the sole source of Q5 output globally as Audi phases out production of the Q5 at plants in Germany.
The auto maker unveiled the second-generation Q5 at the Paris auto show in September.
The Mexico plant is Audi's first factory outside of Europe to assemble vehicles for global export. Its China-made vehicles are sold only in China.
Audi is also the first luxury auto maker to open a factory in Mexico, another key milestone for the fast-growing North American manufacturing hub.