Mercedes-Benz efforts to build cars in Mexico remain on schedule: CEO
The joint effort between Daimler AG and Nissan Motor Co. to build cars over a shared platform is still under review, even when the US$ 1 billion plant they build together in Aguascalientes, Mexico, is scheduled to start rolling out Nissan’s Infiniti luxury models this year and Mercedes-Benz compact vehicles will follow in 2018.
“There have been question marks about our efforts for a joint compact platform,” Daimler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche said at the company’s annual press conference in Stuttgart, Germany. “We’re in the process of looking at whether we’ll use a shared platform or components or not in the end,” cites a report by Bloomberg.
Mercedes’s intentions to build cars in Mexico remain on track, despite the threat of U.S. import duties on cars made south of the border. The factory, which will be able to produce as many as 230,000 cars annually, will form part of a Mercedes global network of four different sites producing smaller cars, Zetsche said.
‘NAFTA will prevail’
Daimler expects that the NAFTA free trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada will continue under new U.S. President Donald Trump, according to a Reuters report.
“I believe that NAFTA will continue to exist,” the CEO told reporters after his year results conference, acknowledging that the details of the pact may change. Daimler makes almost a third of its revenue in the NAFTA region.
Zetsche declined to comment further on Trump’s presidency, saying he did not want to speculate on potential developments.