- President of Mexico, Enrique Peña, and Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn inaugurate Group’s 100th plant worldwide in Silao
- With a maximum annual capacity of 330,000 engines, factory strengthens production network in North America
Volkswagen is further extending its commitment to manufacturing in North America. The engine plant in Silao in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato was opened today and is the Volkswagen Group’s 100th plant worldwide. The inauguration ceremony was attended by the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña, the Governor of the state of Guanajuato, Miguel Marquez, and Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. The factory will supply Volkswagen’s North American vehicle plants in Puebla (Mexico) and Chattanooga (U.S.) with modern and fuel-efficient TSI engines produced locally in Silao.
Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, commented: “The Silao factory is the Volkswagen Group’s 100th plant and therefore represents one of the largest and most international production networks in the automotive industry. With this new plant we are driving our ambitious major North American offensive forward. Over the next three years the Volkswagen Group will be investing more than $5 billion in North America alone. Silao is thus also a strong symbol of our uninterrupted growth trajectory and the Group’s continuing internationalization.”
Strengthening its market position in North America is an essential component of the Volkswagen Group’s global growth strategy, based on models such as the Jetta, the Beetle, and the new U.S. Passat. These vehicles have been tailored to the demands of the market and are produced at North American factories with a high degree of localization.
With the start of engine production in Silao, Volkswagen is continuing a success story in Mexico that spans almost 60 years. Along with the Volkswagen plant in Puebla, the MAN commercial vehicles factory in Querétaro, and the planned Audi vehicle plant in San José Chiapa that’s scheduled to begin production in 2016, the Group remains a key growth driver for Mexican industry.
Going forward, Silao will supply the North American vehicle plants in Puebla and Chattanooga with the latest generation of fuel-efficient TSI engines. The plant is designed for a medium-term annual capacity of 330,000 units. Investment runs at $550 million. Volkswagen will be creating more than 700 new jobs at the 148-acre plant in Silao in the medium term. Further jobs in the region will also be created at suppliers and in the service sector.
Engine production in Silao meets the high environmental standards of the Volkswagen brand’s “Think Blue. Factory” program. The aim of this program is to make more efficient use of resources and to achieve a sustained reduction in production-related emissions at all Volkswagen plants. As a result, all manufacturing equipment in Silao complies with the latest energy efficiency standards, thus achieving a significant reduction in the environmental impact of each engine that’s produced. Special roof lights in the production halls, for example, combined with energy-efficient lighting throughout the facility ensure optimum natural light levels and simultaneously absorb the heat generated by the lighting system. The improved-performance TSI engines (EA 888) from Silao combine excellent fuel economy and improved emissions with lower weight.
The CEO of Volkswagen de México, Andreas Hinrichs, drew attention to the Mexican automotive industry’s growth path in 2012 and to Volkswagen’s contribution, which consists of more than 600,000 vehicles produced in the country. “For us, Silao is a big step towards the future. Volkswagen is once again generating strong momentum for growth and employment in the Mexican automotive industry.”
Volkswagen de México currently builds four models for world markets at the Puebla plant. These are the Volkswagen Jetta, Golf Estate/Jetta SportWagen, Beetle, and Beetle Convertible. A total of 604,000 vehicles were manufactured in Puebla in 2012. Production of the U.S.-market Passat began in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 2011 and more than 150,000 vehicles left the assembly line there in 2012.