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Audi opens €1B San José Chiapa plant in Mexico; 1st on N.A. continent; Smart Factory

Audi is further expanding its worldwide production network with the opening of the company’s first automobile plant on the North American continent. This will be the first time the company has produced a model for the global market at a location outside of the European continent.

Audi will produce the new generation of the Audi Q5 for the world market in San José Chiapa in Mexico’s federal state of Puebla. The €1-billion plant has an annual production capacity of approximately 150,000 premium SUVs. By the end of the year, a total of 4,200 jobs will be created locally at Audi México.

Audi is the first premium automobile manufacturer with product facilities in Mexico. The country has twelve free-trade agreements with more than 50 countries and therefore offers ideal economic conditions. Mexico is a powerhouse for automobiles and automotive components.

The Audi site in San José Chiapa is 2,400 meters (1.5 miles) above sea level and is the most modern plant in the Audi world. The plant has an annual production capacity of 150,000 Audi Q5 vehicles. Click to enlarge.

The plant in Mexico is a milestone in the history of our company and an important step in our internationalization. It is one of the most modern factories on the American continent. With this facility, we have established an important site for the export of our automobiles to customers all over the world.

—Prof. Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG

Our plant in Mexico is a prime example of the Audi Smart Factory. The facility is the first that we have put into operation completely virtually, that is, in a computer simulation. We have optimized the entire process chain and put the plant into operation 30 percent faster than is usual.

—Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl, Chairman of the Board of Audi México and Board Member for Production at Audi AG

Audi applied state-of-the-art technology in the factory planning. The plant first took shape in great detail in virtual space, where factory planners from various sites were able to work on the plant structure simultaneously.

As a result, Audi was able to set up a complete car plant with a press shop, body shop, paint shop and assembly line on an area of 400 hectares (988 acres) in the record time of just three and a half years. Ultramodern plant equipment and highly efficient logistics allow the annual production volume of 150,000 Audi Q5 vehicles.

Thanks to various water treatment methods and the application of new technologies in the paint shop, the plant will be free of wastewater. New equipment will significantly reduce water, gas and electricity consumption and facilitate resource-efficient production.

A supplier park has been established immediately adjacent to the park. Seven suppliers and logistics providers have started operations there in time for the start of production of the Audi Q5. The JIS park (just in sequence) guarantees short distances from the suppliers’ buildings to the assembly line and allows punctual delivery of components for the premium SUV.

So far, seven Audi partners have already moved into the JIS Park. They will supply components coming from the Audi just-in-sequence production chain, that is, following the client order sequence. In a first stage, the JIS-Park covers an area of 26 hectares (60 hectares of total area).

The park’s supplier halls are involved in the 60 greenfield and brownfield projects that the Audi plant has brought to the country. In all, more than 100 suppliers will be supplying pieces for the new Audi Q5 in Mexico. More than seventy percent of the pieces the company has received to start production were purchased from the TLCAN region.

The following companies have moved into the new JIS Park:

  1. Faurecia ET
  2. HBPO
  3. Thyssen Krupp Automotive
  4. Truck and Wheel
  5. TI Automotive
  6. Kuehne+Nagel
  7. Syncreon

Central control station. The Audi Production System (APS) implements a uniformly high standard for quality worldwide. To validate quality, the company is networking the new San José Chiapa plant with other sites in the Audi global production network.

Working in the production control center (P-Control), 105 employees from various technical disciplines monitor how the new Audi Q5 is produced from a bird’s-eye view. In combination with the site’s quality laboratory and training center, Audi ensures compliance with the quality standards that apply to its production facilities worldwide.

For the first time, this central control station combines five control consoles which are often in separate places at other Audi production sites—at the logistics and maintenance control consoles, for example.

The centralized P-control station is the most advanced in the Audi production network, symbolizing the Audi Smart Factory. The combined layout of individual interfaces enables effective, direct communication between the different control centers. This enables us to detect the slightest of deviations early on, and we are able to react quickly.

—Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl

Another example of how the premium manufacturer is driving digitalization and networking at its plants is the cooperation among production sites. As an example, Audi colleagues in Ingolstadt can gain access to the control center of Audi México to offer technical support.



And the majority of those vehicles will be shipped tax free to USA and Canada?


Q5 SUVs might be more affordable.

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