SAN LUIS POTOSI, Mexico -- BMW's new $1 billion Mexico plant will solely rely on renewable energy to build its 3-series sedan and treated wastewater to paint them, setting a new benchmark at the company for resource conservation.
BMW by sales said the plant in San Luis Potosi, central Mexico, is taking the "special environmental conditions of the region" into account.
Designed to build up to 150,000 cars a year, the factory will rely entirely both on wind and solar power, the latter generated on site. It will require the least amount of water per car produced among the group's 32 global plants, featuring a closed-circuit cooling tower in the body shop and zero process wastewater in the paint shop.
"In 2019, Mexico will have the most sophisticated, sustainable and state-of-the-art plant at the BMW Group," said group manufacturing boss Oliver Zipse. "Three years from now, hundreds of premium vehicles will be produced at this site every day."
The factory was also engineered to offer maximum flexibility as far as integrating future models, the number of derivatives or its drivetrain technology. It will be built exclusively from 3-D designed plans, and for the first time it uses digital 3-D scanning technology during the construction as well.
BMW expects to create 1,500 jobs at the plant and more at the 120 local suppliers. To prepare the workforce for the task, a third of the people will be trained directly in BMW's main 3-series plant in Munich by 2019.
BMW held a ground-breaking ceremony for the plant on June 16.