The second-generation Audi Q5 debuted at the Paris auto show this week. A crane carried a 2016 Q5 2.0 during the opening of Audi’s new plant in San Jose Chiapa, in Puebla state, Mexico, on Friday. Photo credit: REUTERS
UPDATED: 9/30/16 3:17 pm ET – adds details
SAN JOSE CHIAPA, Mexico — After nearly four years of preparation after the site was selected, Audi AG officially opened its new assembly plant here to produce Q5 crossovers for global export.
The $1.3 billion factory will have capacity to churn out 150,000 Q5 crossovers annually, much to support sales in the United States. Once fully operational, the plant will become the sole source of Q5 output globally as Audi phases out production of the Q5 at its current home in Germany.
Audi unveiled the second-generation Q5 at the Paris auto show this week.
The Mexico plant is Audi’s first factory outside of its established export base in Europe to assemble vehicles for global export. Its China-made vehicles are sold only in China.
Audi is also the first luxury automaker to open a factory in Mexico, another key milestone for the fast-growing North American manufacturing hub.
Audi chairman Rupert Stadler delivered a speech in Spanish at the grand opening ceremony today, calling Mexico the “perfect place for our exports to different parts of the world.”
Audi has already hired 3,300 local workers from San Jose Chiapa and the surrounding region. The company plans to boost local hiring to 420,000 by year-end.