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Work starts on Mexico plant for $1bn automaker JV

Daimler and Renault-Nissan Alliance have broken ground on their joint-venture manufacturing complex in Aguascalientes, Mexico

The COMPAS facility will be used to produce the next generation of premium compact vehicles for the Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti brands.
The COMPAS facility will be used to produce the next generation of premium compact vehicles for the Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti brands.

Daimler and Renault-Nissan Alliance have broken ground on their joint-venture (JV) manufacturing plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

The automakers’ Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Aguascalientes (COMPAS) will build the next generation of premium compact vehicles for the Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti brands.

COMPAS is a 50:50 venture owned by Germany’s Daimler and Japan’s Nissan. The partners will invest a total of $1bn in the JV.

Commenting on the news, Markus Schäfer, a member of the divisional board at Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management, said: “Today marks an important milestone for the partnership between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance. This new joint plant will help both partners to serve their respective customers faster and with more flexibility. As Mercedes-Benz’s first production location for compact cars in the NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement] region, it will also significantly enlarge our footprint here.

“On our end, while sharing high efficiency and flexibility in the joint venture, we will add Mercedes-Benz specific technology, as well as further training and assistance by our global lead plant for compact cars in Rastatt, Germany. This proven approach will guarantee that our quality here in Aguascalientes will be the same as at the other locations of our global compact car production network in Europe and China.”

Located near to Nissan’s Aguascalientes A2 plant, COMPAS will have an initial annual production capacity of more than 230,000 vehicles, and will create about 3,600 direct jobs by 2020. Depending on market development and customer demand, there is potential to add additional capacity at the facility, according to the JV partners.

Production of Infiniti vehicles will begin in 2017, whilst Mercedes-Benz vehicles will roll off the line in 2018. In addition to the direct employment, COMPAS is also expected to generate around 12,000 indirect jobs, “largely due to a high localisation rate which will significantly increase the Mexican supply base”.

Jose Muñoz, executive vice president of Nissan Motor Co, and chairman of Nissan North America’s management committee, said: “This new plant represents yet another example of the growing collaboration between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler. Mexico is a global benchmark for quality and efficiency, and is a major reason why Daimler and Nissan have decided to produce the next generations of premium compact cars for Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti here in Aguascalientes.”

The partners stated that the brand identity would be safeguarded by ensuring that “the Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti vehicles [produced at COMPAS] clearly differ from each other in temrs of product design, driving characteristics, and specifications.”

Daimler and Renault Nissan Alliance will also produce the next-generation compact vehicles in a number of other territories, including Europe and China.

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Construction Week - Issue 746
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