Just one of Volkswagen’s U.S.-bound electric vehicles – the ID. 4 crossover – is currently built in North America. But that might change soon, as VW Mexico’s chief, Holger Nestler, explained in an interview with Forbes Mexico.
After an initial $760 million investment in the Puebla plant, which assembles combustion cars exclusively now, Volkswagen Mexico will start manufacturing electric vehicles here, which will make their way in the whole of North America as early as 2026.
Nestler said that the Puebla-assembled model will be decided in the next 12 to 15 months and that the factory will be capable of producing EVs at scale in three years.
“You can count on this,” Volkswagen Mexico’s CEO said. “I can't give the name or line exactly, but what we're doing today is the preparation of the facilities so that they have the necessary qualifications to be able to produce this type of vehicle.”
The investment will go toward a so-called “transformation of the industry,” which in normal talk means the factory will be updated with state-of-the-art technology to support the development of new EVs here.
As part of the initial $760 million investment, about $350 million will go toward a new paint shop, while a second investment package will be revealed in the first quarter of next year and will be centered around the electric model that will be assembled in Mexico.
Speaking about the rate of adoption for electric vehicles, Nestler said he is confident that more people will want to get an EV in North America, although maybe at a different speed compared to countries like China.
“In the following years, we will see in the market how this type of option will take up more and more space, similar to those in Asia and Europe; It is the client who is requesting this type of alternative, therefore, it is the path to follow. In addition, we are bringing the best technology to be able to make this type of alternative and development,” VW Mexico’s CEO added.
We don’t know what EV Volkswagen will decide to build in Mexico, but it would be a nice throwback if the U.S.-spec ID. Buzz would roll off the Puebla assembly line, seeing how the second-generation Type 2 van was also built in Mexico (as well as other countries around the world).