BMW to announce its first Mexican car plant in July: report

BERLIN Sun May 18, 2014 6:32am EDT

A BMW logo is pictured at the Jacob Javits Convention Center during the New York International Auto Show in New York April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

A BMW logo is pictured at the Jacob Javits Convention Center during the New York International Auto Show in New York April 16, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

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BERLIN (Reuters) - BMW (BMWG.DE) plans to announce in July that it will build its first assembly plant in Mexico and has earmarked two regions where the site could be built, Automobilwoche reported on Sunday, without citing the source of the information.

With numerous free trade accords, a cheap and able labor force and proximity to the lucrative U.S. auto market, Mexico keeps attracting investment by foreign carmakers such as Audi (VOWG_p.DE) and Honda Motor Co. (7267.T).

BMW's Mexican factory will either be built in the state of Hidalgo or in San Luis Potosi and will initially produce as many as 100,000 cars per year, the German magazine said. Models likely to be built at the site include the 3-Series saloon, according to Automobilwoche.

A spokesman for the Munich, Germany-based manufacturer said there is no decision yet to build a new factory in the North American Free Trade Agreement area that includes the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

"We're routinely looking at different locations," the spokesman said.

BMW said in March it will ramp up annual production capacity at its U.S. factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina to 450,000 vehicles by 2016, in a move that cuts the manufacturer's dependence on fragile European markets.

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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