DETROIT -- German lighting and electronics maker Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. plans to spend $97 million on a plant that will build automotive headlamps and rear lighting systems in Mexico.
The supplier, which produces LEDs for Audi, plans to break ground on the 215,000-square-foot factory in Irapuato, Mexico this spring.
The factory, scheduled to open in June 2013, will increase Hella's annual North American production capacity by 1.2 million headlamps and 1.5 million rear combination lamps, the company said .
"We're expanding in Mexico to meet rapidly growing demand for our products from our customers in Mexico and elsewhere throughout the Americas," Ignacio Moreno, CEO of Hella Lighting North & South America, said in a statement. "Our new plant in Irapuato is strategically located in one of Mexico's primary automotive regions."
The company also is expanding its facilities in Guadalajara, Mexico, with a 9,000-square-foot design and development center for lighting technology that is expected to open in March and a 15,000-square-foot expansion of its Guadalajara manufacturing complex scheduled to be completed in June.
The sites in Guadalajara and Irapuato will be Hella's primary manufacturing facilities for North America, Moreno said in the statement.
The company expects the expansions to add 800 jobs by the end of 2014. Hella ranks No. 51 on the Automotive News Europe list of the top 100 global suppliers, with sales to automakers of $3.51 billion in 2010.