PUEBLA, Mexico -- Volkswagen AG plans to build a new station wagon in Mexico from the end of 2006, but with output planned at below capacity, the vehicle will not require a new plant.
Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, VW's global head of purchasing, said on Tuesday that Volkswagen had selected Mexico to be the sole producer of the Jetta wagon, known in Europe as the Golf wagon.
Otto Lindner, chairman of Volkswagen Mexico, said the plans for the new vehicle were part of the company's previously stated $2 billion investment program in Mexico between 2003 and 2008.
With the new vehicle, Volkswagen Mexico will have a maximum capacity of 2,000 vehicles a day, but plans to run at 1,900 vehicles a day.
"To produce at the maximum capacity we will need (to build) an additional model at the Puebla plant apart from the station wagon," Lindner told reporters at an event at the factory, southeast of Mexico City.
The plant currently has a capacity of 1,650 vehicles a day. The company's management hopes to hit an output of 1,500 vehicles a day in coming weeks.
A new plant for Volkswagen Mexico would depend on global sales, Lindner said.
"If additional capacity is required, above all in North America, then we will have a good opportunity ... In coming years we are going to fight to bring new projects here to Mexico. We are competing with all the (VW) plants in the world," he added.
Asked if the strength of the euro made Mexico a more attractive option, Lindner said: "Yes, in general. However, we look at this on a long-term basis and try to make decisions independently of exchange rates. That is to say we like producing in markets where we sell."