German automotive firm announces US $80 million plant in Aguascalientes

Continental will make electrical components at the factory, its biggest-ever investment in Mexico

German automotive manufacturing company Continental announced yesterday that it will invest more than 1.6 billion pesos (US $80 million) to build a new plant in Aguascalientes, its 24th in Mexico.

The factory is expected to start operations in 2020.

Carlos Huerta, the company director responsible for the project, told a press conference that the investment is Continental’s biggest ever in Mexico.

“We are pleased to announce the construction of this new Continental plant, here in Aguascalientes. It will generate 1,000 jobs in the first five years. Construction will begin next year and the plant will be dedicated to the manufacture of electrical components,” he said.

The plant will supply smart antennas, control panels and other components to General Motors, Ford and Nissan, mainly for vehicles manufactured in Mexico, although some parts will likely be sent to the United States and Canada.

Huerta added that the 8,000-square-meter plant will be built to the highest environmental standards.

Ned Reckamp, Continental’s vice-president of supply chain management, said the new North American trade agreement, which will push up auto sector wages in Mexico, would not affect operations at the new plant.

“In terms of the new trade agreement, we’re going to leave the politicians and governments to resolve it. We won’t be directly impacted by the new free trade treaty decision with this particular project in Aguascalientes,” he said.

State Governor Martín Orozco Sandoval welcomed the announcement of the new plant, stating that it would provide specialized employment opportunities for young people.

Around 65% of jobs at the new factory will be related to production while 35% will be in administration.

Huerta said the company is looking for highly-educated employees who will receive salaries that “give them a better quality of life.”

Paulo Santos, manager of a Continental plant in Guadalajara, said the new plant is a very significant project for the company.

“The automotive industry is crucial for the development of Aguascalientes . . . In the state, there are more than 100 companies in the sector as well as several research and development centers. Continental is coming to join and enrich this important sector . . . ”

The service portfolio that American Industries provides, as a Shelter company (soft landing services), includes several administrative strategic functions such as Human Resources.
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