Mexico – The vehicle-maker is investing $1.6 billion to build a small-car factory in the central state, as part of its ‘One Ford’ global product and manufacturing plan. The production line-up has yet to be confirmed but the first vehicles are set to roll off the line in 2018.

Ford will start building the factory this summer, during its 91st year in Mexico. The OEM has been making cars in the country since 1925, and today the only larger manufacturing operations for global Ford customers are in the US, China and Germany. Vehicles made in Mexico are exported to the US, Canada, China, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and South Korea. Ford says the San Luis Potosí plant will require a 2,800-workforce by 2020.

In addition to Mexico, Ford has invested $10.2 billion in its US facilities over the past five years. A further $2.7 billion has gone towards facilities and supplier tooling in Spain, $2.4 billion on operations in Germany and $4.8 billion in China together with joint-venture partners.