Audi’s new plant highlights Mexico’s role as hub in North America

Article by Christian A., on April 20, 2012

Mexico has strengthened its position as a major North American hub for the production of light vehicles, thanks to the decision of Volkswagen AG to construct an Audi assembly facility in the country.  Audi is joining Honda Motor Co., Mazda Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co. with plans for expanded or new automobile assembly operations in the nation. 

However, Audi is just the third luxury brand to manufacture light cars on a major scale in Mexico. The only premium vehicle models manufactured in this country are the Cadillac SRX crossover, Lincoln MKZ sedan and Escalade EXT luxury pickup. In 2011, the production of light vehicles increased 13% to a record 2.6 million units.

Mexico's share of North American output reached a record 19.5% last year, the Automotive News Data Center revealed. Favorable trade agreements, low wages, a robust supply base and generous government and tax incentives have pushed vehicle manufacturers the drive to invest in Mexico aggressively. Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler commented that a competitive cost structure, the existing free-trade agreements and good infrastructure played a key role in VW's decision to choose Mexico over other North American locations.

He said that the "trailblazing" action will aid them to defend their position on the global market. Last year, Mexico exported a record 2.14 million vehicles, which is a 15.3% rise from a year earlier, the country's government revealed in March. The government further disclosed that Mexico is anticipated to be the third biggest vehicle exporter in the world and the seventh biggest car manufacturer. As recently as 2004, the nation accounted for less than 10% of the automobiles assembled in North America.

The Audi Q5 performance SUV’s sportiness, attractiveness, and versatility make it Europe’s most successful mid-class SUV. It has gotten better with modified looks, infotainment and assistance systems, and engines. The Q5 hybrid quattro has six-cylinder engine power and the four-cylinder fuel efficiency, and the new SQ5 TDI features the energetic possibilities with 230 kW (313 hp). In fact, it is Audi’s first S model with a diesel engine.

The athletic style of the Audi Q5 has a flat roof arch and a precisely adapted and perfected form. The single-frame grille’s top corners are chamfered, and the chrome vertical struts and Audi rings appear sculpted. It also has new bumpers, front fog lights, and air inlets.

The optional xenon plus headlights sport a continuous LED daytime running lights strip along the edge, just like the rear tail lights. The sporty S line exterior package and exclusive off-road package accentuate the Audi Q5’s strong looks. The wrap-around tailgate, a normal Audi Q design element, and engine hood are aluminium.

In the passenger cell, advanced form-hardened steel lowers its weight, but they are tremendously sturdy while still being lightweight.

Exterior design

Its athletic dimensions characterise the Audi Q5. Continuous lines and a powerfully sculpted body makes it look like it was carved from one block. The tornado line below the side windows embosses clean over the wheels. The tailgate wrapping around the body is a traditional Audi Q style element.

The roof line flows like a coupe’s arch descending early, and the A and C pillars are significantly pulled back. The standard high-gloss package around the windows highlights the vehicle's style, and a spoiler extends the roof’s visual line. Standard are anodized aluminium (or optional black) roof rails and a crossbar. The new look barely changes the car’s dimensions: 4,629 mm (182.24 in) long, 1,898 mm (74.72 in) across, and 1,627 mm (64.06 in) high. Its wheelbase is 2,812 mm (110.71 in), and it has short overhangs.

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