Mexico – Under 50:50 ownership and with an investment of $1 billion, the Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Aguascalientes (COMPAS) will produce next-generation, premium compact cars for the Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz brands, from 2017 and 2018 respectively. A new plant will be built near to Nissan Aguascalientes A2, with an initial annual capacity of 230,000 vehicles and potential for expansion. Around 3,600 personnel will be hired by 2020.
According to COMPAS CEO Ryoji Kurosawa, Aguascalientes was selected as the location for the plant “thanks to the state’s well-established supplier base and Nissan’s track record in highly efficient manufacturing in Mexico for three decades”. He hailed the new business entity as “an outstanding example of the global reach of the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler cooperation.”
Kurosawa will be supported by Uwe Jarosch as CFO and Glaucio Leite as chief quality officer. The board of directors consists of three executives from each company: Michael Göbel, head of Production Compact Cars, Mercedes-Benz Cars; Axel Harries, head of Quality Management, Mercedes-Benz Cars; Christian Schulz, head of Controlling, Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations; Armando Avila, Manufacturing VP, Nissan Mexico; Carlos Servin, Finance VP, Nissan North America; and Takehiro Terai, Total Customer Satisfaction VP, Nissan North America.
“With COMPAS, Mercedes-Benz Cars will for the first time have a production location for compact cars in the NAFTA region and will thus be able to serve its customers close to the market in a flexible and efficient manner,” noted Jarosch.
Leite added: “By incorporating the best from both companies in terms of manufacturing and quality processes, we will produce top-quality products, maximise resources, and optimise costs at the same time. We are also making sure that both brands’ quality requirements and identities are safeguarded.”
The creation of COMPAS comes five years after a strategic alliance was established between Daimler and Renault-Nissan, while collaborative development of the next-generation of premium compact cars was announced in June last year. Daimler and Nissan will also produce these vehicles at other international locations, including Europe and China.