Chinese automaker BAIC to open first plant in Mexico

Chinese automaker Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC) on Wednesday unveiled a plan to build its first factory in Mexico for the North and South American markets.

The company will invest around one billion U.S. dollars for the construction of the plant set to begin in 2020, Jimena Saenz, BAIC’s director in Mexico, said in an interview with Xinhua.

BAIC launched brand automobiles in the Mexican market in mid 2016, while the brands of D20 sedans and X25 SUVs were assembled at a local plant in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz.

“BAIC’s commitment to Mexico is long-term. We want to be close to our suppliers,” said Saenz.

Thanks to the positive market response in Mexico, the company sold 1,140 vehicles in 2017 and expects the figure to reach 4,000 units in 2018, she said.

“It is a year of uncertainty,” she said, referring to the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Mexico, the United States and Canada, and the country’s presidential elections in the summer.

As one of China’s five largest automakers, BAIC sells automobiles in 53 countries, including South American countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.