Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance today broke ground for their joint-venture manufacturing complex, COMPAS (Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Aguascalientes), in Aguascalientes in central Mexico, which will build next-generation premium compact vehicles for the brands Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti.

“Today marks an important milestone for the partnership between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance. This new joint plant will help both partners to serve their respective customers faster and with more flexibility. As Mercedes-Benz’ first production location for compact cars in the NAFTA region, it will also significantly enlarge our footprint here,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management. “On our end, while sharing high efficiency and flexibility in the joint venture, we will add Mercedes-Benz specific technology as well as further training and assistance by our global lead plant for compact cars in Rastatt, Germany. This proven approach will guarantee that our quality here in Aguascalientes will be the same as at the other locations of our global compact car production network in Europe and China.”

COMPAS is 50:50 owned by Daimler and Nissan. The partners will invest a total of US$1 billion in the joint venture which will oversee the construction and operation of the state-of-the-art manufacturing plant.

“This new plant represents yet another example of the growing collaboration between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler. Mexico is a global benchmark for quality and efficiency and is a major reason why Daimler and Nissan have decided to produce the next generations of premium compact cars for Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti here in Aguascalientes. What we are celebrating today has also been made possible through our close collaboration and partnership with both the state and Federal governments,” said Jose Muñoz, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Chairman, Management Committee – Nissan North America.

Located near the Nissan Aguascalientes A2 plant, COMPAS will have an initial annual production capacity of more than 230,000 vehicles and will create about 3,600 direct jobs by 2020. Depending on the market development and customer demand, there will be the potential to add additional capacity. Production of Infiniti vehicles will begin in 2017, while the first Mercedes-Benz vehicles will roll off the line in 2018. In addition to the direct employment it provides, COMPAS is also expected to generate some 12,000 indirect jobs – largely due to a high localization rate which will significantly increase the Mexican supply base.

COMPAS is led by an international management team from Daimler and Nissan: Ryoji Kurosawa, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Uwe Jarosch, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and Glaucio Leite, Chief Quality Officer (CQO).

Aguascalientes Governor De La Torre said the new plant will be an important source of jobs for the people of Aguascalientes. “This first stone reaffirms Aguascalientes’s position as a major manufacturing base for the global auto industry. We will continue to encourage public and private partnerships to strengthen our position as a base for the world’s most important industries.”
More than 400 guests attended the groundbreaking ceremony, including Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexican Minister of Economy; Carlos Lozano de la Torre, Governor of the state of Aguascalientes; Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management; Jörg Prigl, Head of Product Group Compact Cars, Mercedes-Benz Cars; Jose Muñoz, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Chairman, Management Committee – Nissan North America (NNA); Roland Krueger, President of Infiniti Motor Company, Limited; Ryoji Kurosawa, COMPAS CEO; Uwe Jarosch, COMPAS CFO; Glaucio Leite, COMPAS CQO; and Armando Avila, COMPAS Board of Directors Chairman.

As announced in June 2014, Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance will also cooperate in the development of the next-generation premium compact vehicles for the brands Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti. The two partners will closely collaborate at every stage of the product creation process. Brand identity will be safeguarded as the Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti vehicles will clearly differ from each other in terms of product design, driving characteristics, and specifications.

Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance will also produce the next-generation premium compact cars at other production locations around the world, including Europe and China.