Volkswagen to build new Mexico plant for North American market

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Volkswagen unveiled plans Wednesday invest 550 million dollars in a new plant in Mexico to help the German auto giant strengthen its position in the North American market.

The announcement came jointly with President Felipe Calderon, who said the plant would be a "next generation" engine facility in the central state of Guanajuato, to supply the assembly plant in Puebla and a US facility in Tennessee.

Volkswagen, which is a market leader in Europe, China and Brazil, aims to triple is US sales by 2018 to one million annually and hopes to overtake Toyota as the world's biggest automaker.

The German firm produced 325,000 vehicles in Mexico in 2009 and hopes to boost that by 35 percent this year thanks to an expansion of the Puebla facility.

Otto Lindner, who heads Volkswagen in Mexico, said that the new plan could produce 330,000 engines a year and will create at least 700 jobs.

© 2010 AFP

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