The 3-Series sedan from the BMW will expand production to North America on a new plant located an hour away north of Mexico City in 2019.
Sales ranged from 95,000 units in 2015, so naturally Mexico is a sound choice for the brand’s expansion, though the German automaker will continue to build the 3-series, thus increasing its annual capacity to 150,000 units. Once the Mexican plant is up and running, the BMW’s South African plant will switch from 3-series to X3 crossover production.
At this rate, Mexico will become North America’s car capital, since it grabbed every automakers attention due to their liberal trade agreements and cheap labor rates. The country is also home of many other plants operated by classic automakers like General Motors GM +0.07%, Volkswagen, Ford, Nissan, Daimler , Toyota, Honda, Kia, Mazda, and Fiat Chrysler. Economic development officials say Mexico could manufacture more than 5 million cars in 2020, far beating its 3.4 million from last years’. It holds the title as the world’s fourth-largest automotive exporter.
Oliver Zipse, BMW’s head of production, says that Mexico is a growing market with “promising dynamics”. He also said that Mexico -as a NAFTA country- has direct access to a region with a considerable growth potential for premium mobility. Mexico is a symbol for the benefits of free trade, he claims, that “Visionary politics have made Mexico the number one country in the world when it comes to free trade agreements”.
Ed Kim, vice president of industry analysis at automotive research firm AutoPacific is confident about the growing sales rate of the 3-series, which outsells other small sedans, including the Mercedes-Benz C-class and Lexus ES. Its styling and performance set a benchmark and keeps clients loyal to the brand.