San José Chiapa, Puebla, Mexico – Audi has opened the company’s first automobile plant in North America to build a new generation of the Audi Q5. In San José Chiapa in Mexico’s federal state of Puebla, the $1.1 billion plant has an annual production capacity of approximately 150,000 premium SUVs. By the end of the year, a total of 4,200 jobs will be created locally at Audi México.
“The plant in Mexico is a milestone in the history of our company and an important step in our internationalization. It is one of the most modern factories on the American continent. With this facility, we have established an important site for the export of our automobiles to customers all over the world,” states Prof. Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of management of Audi AG.
Stadler adds, “Above all, it is a commitment to the site and to the people who, together with us, have managed this great achievement.”
Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl, board of management member for production and chairman of Audi México, says, “Our plant in Mexico is a prime example of the Audi Smart Factory. The facility is the first that we have put into operation completely virtually, that is, in a computer simulation. We have optimized the entire process chain and put the plant into operation 30% faster than is usual.”
The plant first took shape in great detail in virtual space, where factory planners from various sites were able to work on the plant structure simultaneously. As a result, Audi was able to set up a complete car plant with a press shop, body shop, paint shop, and assembly line on an area of 988 acres in three and a half years.
A supplier park has been established immediately adjacent to the park. Seven suppliers and logistics providers have started operations there in time for the start of production of the Audi Q5. The JIS park (just in sequence) guarantees short distances from the suppliers’ buildings to the assembly line and allows punctual delivery of components for the premium SUV. At the start of production, Audi is sourcing more than 70% of the parts from the NAFTA region and plans to increase this proportion of localization over the long term. In total, more than 100 companies already supply parts for the Audi Q5 from sites in Mexico.
Audi México has so far taken more than 3,300 local employees on board. Audi prepares its employees for their future tasks with tailored training courses at a new training center. Approximately 5,300 training courses have already been carried out. In addition, Audi has provided advance training at its sites in Germany to more than 750 Mexican employees, who were assisted by experienced mentors.
Source: Audi of America Inc.