Nissan and Daimler to build luxury cars in Mexico

Article by Anita Panait, on September 5, 2013

Nissan Motor Co. and Daimler AG will produce small Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz luxury cars at the Japanese carmaker’s Aguascalientes site in Mexico, two sources told Reuters. According to the sources, the Infiniti Q30 compact hatchback and a number Mercedes-Benz models would be built at the $2-billion Aguascalientes site that is located at an existing Nissan assembly plant.

The site is set to commence operations in late 2013. The Infiniti Q30, which is expected to go on sale in mid-2015, will share engines and some chassis parts with the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA compact crossover – both having a similar size.

The German carmaker will start selling the 2015 GLA next spring in Europe and next fall in the United States, according to Mercedes-Benz. The sources told Reuters that the GLA is considered as one of the candidates for future production at the Aguascalientes site.

Mercedes-Benz will unveil the final production version of the GLA at the Frankfurt Auto Show next week, and will produce the compact crossover at its Rastatt plant in Germany.

At the same time, Infiniti will also unveil a concept version of the Q30 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. According to Reuters’ source at Nissan, the Q30 could be built at two locations; initially at the carmaker’s Sunderland site in the United Kingdom for Europe, and later at Aguascalientes for the US.

Nissan and Daimler had inked a cooperative agreement in 2010 to share vehicle platforms, engines and other components. According to a Nissan source, the Q30 is the first Nissan-built vehicle that will share a Daimler architecture.  Mercedes-Benz North America spokesman Christian Bokich confirmed that the Q30 and the GLA will share some components.

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