BMW Group says it has invested more than US$1 billion in the new production plant, which already employs 2,500 people and will have a capacity of up to 175,000 units annually once the ramp-up phase is fully completed. The automotive Group is working with four technical institutes in the region and has already trained 250 apprentices in technical occupations. “The plant was designed from the start to allow us to respond quickly and flexibly to future model variants and production volumes. We use innovative Industry 4.0 technologies, including new automation solutions and modern assistance systems. Sustainability was also a major focus from the beginning – and we are setting new standards in this area”, said Hermann Bohrer, Director of the Mexican plant.

Careful use of water resources is a primary sustainability objective, according to BMW. The site, with the production network’s lowest water consumption per vehicle produced, will be the BMW Group’s first paint shop to generate no process wastewater; the water needed for the painting process is reconditioned and reused. The use of renewable energy sources ensures that the plant will be supplied with 100% CO2-free electricity in future; a solar energy plant on-site, covering an area of more than 70,000 sq m, will produce part of the energy.

The NAFTA is a key market for the BMW Group, which opened its plant in Spartanburg, U.S., 25 years ago, and has since invested nearly US$9 billion in the site. The Group said it will invest a further US$600 million there by 2021 to gear it up for future generations of the BMW X models. San Luis Potosi will build the BMW brand’s most successful model series; the BMW 3 Series Sedan. In 2018, the BMW Group sold a total of 25,090 vehicles (18,501 BMW and 6,589 MINI) in Mexico; an increase of more than 13% over the previous year. The ceremony in San Luis Potosi was attended by high-level representatives of the Mexican government.