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GM to invest $5 billion in Mexico over 6 years

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. said Thursday it will invest $5 billion in Mexico over six years, dating from 2013 through 2018, and will add 5,600 new jobs in the region.

The Detroit based automaker said the investment includes $1.4 billion announced or implemented in the past two years and $3.6 billion will come over the next four years.

“These investments will fund plant improvements to modernize and expand our manufacturing facilities at our four major complexes in Mexico,” GM spokesman Bill Grotz said.

GM, in a news release, said the investments will help “GM produce new vehicles for the local and foreign market, which will help establish GM as Mexico’s No. 1 vehicle exporter.”

The carmaker declined to provide an investment breakout by plant and did not share any specifics on investments or what vehicles they may be tied to. GM said 1,200 of the 5,600 hourly and salaried jobs already have been added, leaving about 4,400 new jobs expected to be added through 2018.

“General Motors is a company that has always been committed to the countries in which it operates and that in decisive and significant moments of change as the ones we are living today, maintains its vote of confidence in Mexico,” Ernesto M. Hernandez, president of General Motors Mexico, said in a statement.

The four production complexes in Mexico include Toluca, Ramos Arizpe, Silao and San Luis Potosi. Those complexes include 14 manufacturing plants comprising assembly, engine, transmission, stamping and foundry work.

GM Mexico currently employs about 15,000 people. GM employees annually build an average of 890,000 engines in Mexico, nearly 1.2 million transmissions and 647,000 vehicles, of which about 80 percent are exported. It also has an engineering center in Toluca, where engineers work on vehicle interiors and electrical and thermal systems.

Many automakers are turning to Mexico to build new or expand plant operations. Mexico is the fourth largest exporter of vehicles globally and eighth largest producer, according to the Mexican Automotive Industry Association.