The plant in the right place

Automotive-sector | thyssenkrupp worldwide | Right next door: In 
Mexico we assemble axles 
for Audi at one of 
the world’s most 
modern auto 
manufacturing plants.

Bright and well illuminated hallways and high-tech machines. That is what it looks like in the world´s most modern auto manufacturing plant. Since summer it’s showtime. That’s when production is scheduled to begin at the Audi plant in San José Chiapa in the Mexican state of Puebla. The carmaker from Ingolstadt has set itself an ambitious goal: The next generation of the Q5 will be produced at the company’s first plant on North American soil. To achieve this, Audi searched for premium partners and found thyssenkrupp Automotive Systems de México. As principal supplier, the Group subsidiary built a production facility in the immediate vicinity of Audi in order to prepare for the planned just-in-sequence production. The plans call for our colleagues to deliver not only “just in time,” but also in the correct sequence for assembly purposes.

“The fact that thyssenkrupp built a plant here at such an early stage showed the entire supply industry just how important this project is,” says Alfonso Vázquez de Lara Saavedra, who is responsible for quality assurance at the Audi plant in Mexico. From the very beginning, the two companies worked closely together to meet quality standards and to perfect processes. After all, this is a big deal. “

Audi and thyssenkrupp are writing history, because the Q5 is our first premium model produced in Mexico

Arturo Achard CarreteroHead of project procurement at Audi de México

In a facility measuring 5,770 square meters, 144 employees produce the rear axle and part of the front axle, the front “corner module.” Some 175,000 of these pairs will be produced every year in the beginning. The plant has a capacity of 200,000. The parts don’t have to go far to reach the end of the assembly line. It’s only a thousand meters from one factory door to the other. The short distance is important, because it should only take 214 minutes from the moment the elements are ordered to when they are installed at what’s known as the “wedding” station. We can’t produce stockpiles because each order depends on variables such as the weight of the car, the motorization, the type of headlights, and other options. “There are more than a hundred variants,” says Thomas Müller, CEO of thyssenkrupp Automotive Systems. It’s a complex logistical achievement, as more than a hundred individual parts from 78 suppliers in Europe, China, Mexico, and the US are installed in two -production cycles.

We have to work in sync with the customer

Thomas MüllerCEO thyssenkrupp Automotive Systems