6 Luxury Cars You Didn’t Know Were Manufactured In Mexico

When automakers look for a place to build their factories, what do they look for? Three important things:

  1. Labor costs
  2. Trade agreements
  3. Proximity to their biggest markets

They need to build in a country that will deliver in all three areas.

Mexico offers all three attributes – low labor costs, a trade agreement with the United States, and proximity to the USA. Mexico also has trade agreements with several other countries in Asia and the Americas. This makes Mexico an excellent place to build vehicles for global exports (not only to the US).

Most of the vehicles produced in Mexico are mass-market cars built for economy. Yet, there are a handful of luxury brands that build premium vehicles in Mexico. Here’s a list of six:

1. Audi Q5

Audi Q5

Audi kicked off the Q5’s second generation by opening up a plant in San José Chiapa, Mexico in late 2016. Audi is the first luxury automaker in the world to open a factory in Mexico. The compact crossover is the only Audi model built there. In 2018, the automaker phased out their Q5 production in Germany. Next, they made their $1.3 billion San José Chiapa factory the sole production hub for the Q5. Audi produces about 125,000 units of the Q5 in Mexico each year.

2. BMW 5 Series Security

BMW 5 Series Security

BMW relies on Mexico to build their top-of-the-line 5 Series Security cars. The model is an armored version of the 5 Series built with shatterproof materials, multi-layered glass, and an attack alarm system.

The specialty facility in Toluca, Mexico works alongside BMW’s German plant. The armoring parts are prepared in Germany before being shipped to Mexico. In Mexico, workers complete the final assembly stage.

3. BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series

In 2019, BMW opened up a new $1 billion factory in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. At that plant, BMW produces the iconic BMW 3 Series. This plant employs almost 3,000 employees. It churns out up to 175,000 units of the BMW 3 Series each year.

4. Chevy Silverado High Country And GMC Sierra Denali Crew Cabs

GMC Sierra Denali Crew Cab

A GM-owned assembly plant in Silao, Mexico manufactures some of the Silverado’s and the Sierra’s highest trim levels. Other Silverado’s and the Sierra’s are manufactured in Flint, Michigan and Fort Wayne, Indiana. GM also builds their four-door crew cab models in Mexico. Mexican-built crew cab Sierras and Silverados accounted for nearly 1/3rd of GM’s truck production, according to analysts.

5. Lincoln MKZ

Lincoln MKZ

Lincoln’s mid-size luxury sedan is built at Ford’s Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly Plant in northwestern Mexico. There, you’ll also find the Ford Fusion, its sister car from the Ford line-up. The MKZ isn’t a huge volume seller, but it’s a luxury car nonetheless.

6. Infiniti QX50

Infiniti QX50

In 2017, Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti started a manufacturing joint venture called COMPAS. It stands for Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Aguascalientes. It’s a $1 billion manufacturing plant located in – you guessed it – Aguascalientes, Mexico. The vehicles produced at this plant are:

  • Infiniti QX50
  • Infiniti QX55
  • Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class

Automakers have a lot of great reasons to build vehicles in Mexico. If you want to learn more about why manufacturing is so popular in Mexico, check out these articles:

May 14, 2021 Tagged: