You might wonder why Audi chose Mexico for the international launch of it’s all-new 2017 Q5 SUV. Even we wondered. After all, Mexico is not the obvious choice of location for a German manufacturer to present an all-new SUV to the world’s press - aside from the Baja peninsula being a bloody nice place to spend some time.
There is, however, method in Audi’s madness.
For the first time, one of Audi’s most popular vehicles - and its single most popular body style variant in Australia, for that matter - will make its way here from outside Ingolstadt. And it’'s not another factory in Germany or even Europe that will produce the new Q5.
The 2017 Audi Q5 will be built in a state-of-the-art facility that recently opened outside Mexico City. That means all Australian Q5s will come from that plant and not Ingolstadt, as all previous Q5s have to this point.
“This is the first true Mexican in the Audi line-up,” Josef Schlossmacher, Communications Product and Technology Audi AG, said at the global launch of the Q5.
“We have had Q5s assembled in China and India in the past, for local markets, but this is the first time an export Q5 will be assembled outside Ingolstadt.”
Located in San Jose Chiapa, Mexico, the 460-hectare plant has been created from the ground-up by Audi. It’s the highest-elevation Audi plant anywhere in the world, as well, situated at 2400 metres above sea level. The facility has cost Audi more than one billion Euros and includes one of the most eco-friendly paint shops on the American continents.
San Jose Chiapa is 200km east of Mexico City and can cater to a capacity of 150,000 cars annually. Audi is working with 180 local suppliers and will source more than 65 per cent of its supplies from local suppliers, with a commitment to extend that when possible.
By the end of 2016, Audi says around 4200 people will be employed at the site - a development from which the economy of the region will benefit according to the German marque. IN addition, there are 320 apprentice and 80 apprenticeship positions planned for 2017.