Aug 232011

Two major Japanese car-makers—Mazda and Honda—have announced expansion plans in Mexico in recent months. They will help ensure that Mexico remains the 9th largest car manufacturer in the world, and the 6th largest vehicle exporter. In addition, Italian auto-maker Fiat is expanding its plant in Toluca.

Mazda plant in Salamanca

Mazda is building a new 500-million-dollar plant in Salamanca (Guanajuato) to assemble its best-selling Mazda2 and Mazda3 models. The Mazda3 is the Mazda’s top selling model in the USA. The Mazda plant, scheduled to open in 2013, will employ about 3,000 workers and produce 140,000 vehicles a year.

Honda plants in El Salto and Celaya

Honda, which currently has two manufacturing plants in El Salto (Jalisco), is to construct a third plant, in Celaya (Guanajuato). The new plant will produce the fuel-efficient Honda “Fit” for the North American market. Due to open in 2014, it represents an investment of 800 million dollars and will have the capacity to assemble 200,000 vehicles a year.

Mexican-made cars being exported to China

By early next year, Fiat will be producing 100,000 units a year of its model 500 at its new plant in Toluca, in the state of Mexico. Only 3.5% of these units will be sold in the domestic market. The remainder are destined for export markets, including China, Brazil and the USA. China has already received its first shipment of 100 exclusive “First Edition” vehicles and is expected to take 50,000 a year once the Fiat plant is operating at full capacity.

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