By Chris Bruce

BMW M3 Sedan

After over a year of speculation, BMW is finally officially announcing that it’s building a factory in Mexico. The new plant will cost the German automaker roughly $1 billion US and will have a capacity of about 150,000 vehicles a year when complete. However, production won’t begin there until 2019.

The new factory is being built near the city of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, with plans to employ about 1,500 people. Unfortunately, BMW is still mum about which models it’s producing south of the border. Earlier rumors indicated the possibility of the 3 Series, 1 Series and maybe even Mini models there.

BMW says Mexico’s multiple free trade agreements are a major factor in the choice of location of the plant. They make it possible for the automaker to ship models more cheaply to North America, parts of South America and the European Union. “The Americas are among the most important growth markets for the BMW Group. We are continuing our strategy of ‘production follows the market,’” said Harald Krueger, the board’s head of production, in the company’s official announcement.

The Mexican factory comes on the heels of two other major North American investments for BMW. In March, it declared its plan to invest $1 billion by 2016 into the Spartanburg, SC, factory to increase its annual capacity by 150,000 units and to build the X7 SUV. Its Moses Lake, WA, carbon fiber factory is also getting a further $200 million investment. Plus, there’s its roughly $260 million facility coming to Brazil, as well. Scroll down to read the full release about the Bavarian automaker’s latest American factory.

Continue reading BMW confirms new Mexican plant

BMW confirms new Mexican plant originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 03 Jul 2014 16:29:00 EST.