Global auto interiors supplier Grupo Antolín is building a fifth plant in Mexico to allow it to satisfy an important contract secured with Audi to supply headliners, panels and plastic parts for its new Q5 model.
The 13,000-square-meter facility being built in the southern Mexican state of Tlaxcala will provide car components to Audi's new assembly plant at San José de Chiapas, just 28 kilometers away. Audi will build 150,000 of its new high end sports utility vehicles per year in Mexico for global distribution.
The Antolin facility, which will make parts and sequence headliners produced at the Antolin plant in Puebla, Mexico, is due to employ more than 300 during the two phases of mass production beginning in September 2016.
Antolin believes its “strategic agreement” with Audi will position the Spanish firm in the market for door panels and open up new business opportunities in the North American Free Trade Agreement area of Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
The deal is significant too because Audi has allowed the supplier to enter production of door panels for a major car manufacturer in the North American region for the first time. It is already a leader globally in the production of the other vehicle interior component areas.
The company also has a pending agreement to buy the interiors operations of auto supply giant Magna International Corp.
Group chairman José Antolín said the Audi project “will undoubtedly open up the doors to new orders in the NAFTA region which consolidates our position in the doors market, bringing us closer to the position of leadership we enjoy with other product lines.”
The Burgos, Spain-based auto components specialist has been active in Mexico, serving European, American and Japanese customers for more than 20 years. It is considering establishing a further plant in the north of the country, vice chairman Ernesto Antolín indicated last year. The firm already has a 1,200 strong workforce in Mexico.
Antolin saw its North American NAFTA area sales increase by 10 percent during 2013 which, along with similar growth in the Asia-Pacific region, helped offset a decline in Europe and South America's Mercosur free trade area.