By Stephen Downer, Plastics News Staff
Mexico City -- German luxury car maker BMW AG expects to triple its purchases of automotive parts and components in Mexico by the end of 2012, according to global purchasing director Herbert Diess.
"In 2009 BMW promoted the export of parts and components from Mexico to different plants [in the U.S. and Europe] worth a total of $615 million," Diess said at a news conference in Mexico this month. "By 2012 we expect exports [from Mexico] to reach 2 billion euros ($2500 million)."
About 20 percent of the money spent in Mexico is for plastic items, such as dashboards, door panels and consoles, a BMW spokeswoman told Plastics News on 12 May.
BMW will start assembling the new BMW X3 sport utility vehicle in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in September and 200 of its components, 25 percent of the vehicle's content, will come from Mexico, Diess added.
BMW opened a regional purchasing office covering the whole of the Americas in Mexico City in October 2008.
According to the BMW spokeswoman, BMW has identified, evaluated and graded 250 suppliers throughout the Americas. About 80 percent of the evaluations have been carried out on suppliers in Mexico, primarily in the states of Aguascalientes, Baja California Norte, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Sonora and Tamaulipas.
The office coordinates the purchase of 320 components produced in Mexico and exports them to Spartanburg and other BMW facilities in Europe, BMW said.
BMW brands include BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce automobiles and BMW motorcycles. It has 24 production facilities in 13 countries and in 2009 sold 1.29 million automobiles and 87,000 motorbikes.
"Because of its geographical location and [several dozen] free trade agreements, Mexico has become one of the most interesting automotive markets in the Americas," Diess said.