A manufacturing plant in Mexico jointly owned by Daimler and Renault-Nissan will begin construction imminently, according to Daimler.
The facility, which will be located in Aguascalientes — about 150 northeast of Guadalajara and 300 miles northwest of Mexico City — will build “compact premium vehicles” for the automakers, which may include the Mercedes-Benz CLA/GLA and the upcoming Infiniti Q30/QX30 that share similar front-wheel drive architectures.
Nissan is expected to produce vehicles from the plant for 2017, and Mercedes vehicles will roll of the lines in 2018.
According to Daimler, the plant will have an initial capacity of 230,000 vehicles in the first year, with the ability to expand later. The plant would roughly rival the size of Mercedes’ Tuscaloosa, Alabama plant, which produced 185,000 cars in 2013, 245,000 cars in 2014 and is expected to make 300,000 cars this year.
The plant will be Mercedes’ first compact car-making plant in the NAFTA region, located near Nissan’s A2 plant, also in Aguascalientes.
The joint manufacturing facility is the latest development in an increasingly cozy relationship between Daimler and Renault-Nissan. In addition to the compact pact, the automakers will share a similar platform for the Renault Twingo and upcoming Smart cars.
The joint plant is owned equally by Daimler and Renault-Nissan.