AUDI AG opens automobile plant in Mexico
- Audi Board of Management gives starting signal for production of new Audi Q5
- Audi CEO Rupert Stadler: “A milestone in the history of our company”
- Board of Management Member for Production Hubert Waltl: “The first virtually planned automobile plant”
- Up to 150,000 premium automobiles for the world market each year
- Investment of more than €1 billion at the site
- Audi México: state-of-the-art technology for top quality
- Its production control center and quality laboratories make Audi México the technology leader on the American continent
Audi is further expanding its worldwide production network and thus continuing along its path of global growth. On September 30th, the Audi Board of Management opened the company’s first automobile plant on the North American continent. Starting now, the brand with the Four Rings 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 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 AG is the first premium automobile manufacturer with product facilities in Mexico. “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,” stated Prof. Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. 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 central production control station has a benchmark character and symbolizes the Audi Smart Factory”
Together with his Board of Management colleagues Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl (Production and Logistics and also Chairman of the Board of Audi México), Prof. h.c. Thomas Sigi (Human Resources) and Dr. Bernd Martens (Procurement), as well as the Governor of the State of Puebla Rafael Moreno Valle, and Mayor of San José Chiapa Josué Martínez Santos, Stadler gave the signal for the official start of production of the new Audi Q5. “For us, this plant is more than a financial investment of over one billion euros. Above all, it is a commitment to the site and to the people who, together with us, have managed this great achievement,” continued Stadler.
“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,” stated Audi’s Board of Management Member for Production Waltl. We have optimized the entire process chain and put the plant into operation 30 percent faster than is usual.” That was a record in the automobile industry.
Audi has 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 (988acres) in the record time of just three and a half years. Ultramodern plant equipment and highly efficient logistics allow an 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. At the start of production, Audi is sourcing more than 70 percent of the parts from the NAFTA region and plans to increase this proportion of localization over the long term. In total, more than 100 companies already supply parts for the Audi Q5 from sites in Mexico.
In line with its social responsibility, the company also supports the people in the region. Audi México has so far taken more than 3,300 local employees on board. Audi prepares its employees for their future tasks with tailored training courses at a new training center. Approximately 5,300 training courses have already been carried out. In addition, Audi has provided advance training at its sites in Germany to more than 750 Mexican employees, who were assisted by experienced mentors. Audi México offers diverse entry possibilities to young talented people, such as the system of dual training with approximately 80 apprenticeships each year, the internship program, the EMA scholarship program (Estudiantes Mexicanos en Alemania) and the new Programa de Especialistas, a qualifications program for career starters and job applicants with initial career experience.
“We are optimally preparing the Audi México team to meet the challenges of the future”
The new Audi Q5 combines the sportiness of an Audi sedan with a versatile character and a highly variable interior. Whether in terms of connectivity, efficiency or driver assistance systems, the SUV with the Four Rings sets new standards in its segment. To date, the company has delivered 1.6 million of the Audi Q5 to its customers worldwide, making the model the most successful premium SUV in its segment. The Audi Q5 is also still produced at locations in China and India for those local markets.
The guiding principle at the Audi plant in San José Chiapa is “made by Audi”: The Audi Production System (APS) implements a uniformly high standard for quality worldwide. To validate its premium quality, the company is networking its new plant with other sites in the Audi global production network. Working in the production control center, known as P-Control, are 105 employees from various technical disciplines, who 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.
Over a floor area of 400 square meters (4,305.6 sq ft), employees of the P-Control center monitor the production of the new Audi Q5 in three shifts. 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 instance. “The centralized P-control station is the most advanced in the Audi production network, symbolizing the Audi Smart Factory,” says Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl, Board Member for Production at AUDI AG. “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.” Another example of how the premium manufacturer is driving digitalization and networking at its plants was said to be based in its cooperation among production sites. Our colleagues in Ingolstadt can even gain access to the control center of Audi México to offer technical support.
At the plant's dedicated quality laboratory, employees in Mexico ensure that globally applicable quality standards are met for the new Audi Q5. “All parts undergo a broad array of tests at the laboratory in San José Chiapa. This lets us fulfill premium Audi standards worldwide,” says Alfons Dintner, Chief Executive Officer of Audi México. Employees use state-of-the-art equipment to test whether the metallic or nonmetallic materials conform to the desired properties. In the light studio, quality assurance experts examine interior parts for the new Audi Q5 under different lighting conditions, in a process known as "color matching." Their objective is to ensure color appears perfectly consistent in different materials. Audi México also has three master jigs. This is where individual car parts are fine-tuned using state-of-the-art tactile and optical measuring equipment.
At the Audi Training Center, employees obtain the crucial qualifications for their job activities in the P-Control center and quality laboratory. The 20,000 square meter (215,278 sq ft) building for education and training is located right at the plant in San José Chiapa. All Audi México employees undergo specialized training here that is precisely tailored to their later work in the plant. The training center features the same highly advanced equipment that is used at the plant. “In cooperation with the Universidad Tecnológica de Puebla, we have created a facility where we can qualify our Mexican employees to the global Audi qualification level. This is how we are optimally preparing Audi México for the challenges of the future,” says Prof. h.c. Thomas Sigi, Board Member for Human Resources.
Audi Mexico Opens Supplier Park in San José Chiapa
- The new supplier park will create 1,000 additional jobs in the region
- Dr. Bernd Martens, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Procurement: “The supplier park is an important element of our localization strategy
- At the start of production of the new Audi Q5, seven partners are already working in the supplier park
San José Chiapa, Puebla, October 1, 2016 – The latest member of the Audi production network is setting global standards, also with its supplier park: The new JIS (Just-in-Sequence) Park next to the Audi plant in San José Chiapa, Mexico, has the advantage of short distances between production and suppliers. Seven suppliers and providers of logistics services have already set up operations there. The new JIS Park will create some 1,000 jobs.
During the inauguration of the new supplier park, Dr. Bernd Martens, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Procurement, stated: “The supplier park is an important element of our localization strategy. The short distances will foster rapid communications, efficient processes and smooth logistics.”
The JIS Park was developed together with O’Donnell Mexico. “The supplier park right at the doorstep to the new Audi plant was a unique opportunity for us. Here we could improve our clients’ competitiveness by establishing perfect infrastructure and advanced supply-chain logistics,” said David O’Donnell, the president of O’Donnell Mexico.
Construction of the new JIS Park started in late 2014. With the start of production of the Audi Q5* just two years later, Audi and its partners have laid the foundations for the success of the new model. Short distances from the suppliers’ halls into Audi’s production plant not only ensure the punctual delivery of parts for the mid-range SUV from the brand with the Four Rings; they also help to conserve resources and reduce the burden on the infrastructure in the region. As the park was planned at the same time as the new plant, the supply processes run extremely smoothly. A total of 1,000 jobs are to be created in the new JIS Park.
So far, seven Audi partners have moved into the park. They will supply components just in sequence to the Audi assembly line, that is, following the sequence of clients’ orders. In the first stage, the JIS Park covers an area of 26 hectares (60 hectares of total area).
The suppliers’ halls in the park are some of the 60 greenfield and brownfield projects that the Audi plant has brought to the country with the new plant. In all, more than 100 suppliers supply components for the new Audi Q5 from locations in Mexico. At the start of production, the company receives more than seventy percent of the purchased parts and components from suppliers in the NAFTA region.
The following companies have moved into the new JIS Park:
- Faurecia ET
- Thyssen Krupp Automotive
- Truck and Wheel
- TI Automotive
Fuel consumption of the models mentioned above:
Audi Q5 - This vehicle is not yet available for purchase. It does not yet have type approval and is therefore not subject to Directive 1999/94/EC.