Paul Lienert of Reuters is reporting that his sources tell him that Daimler will join Nissan in building cars at Nissan’s $2-billion Aguascalientes plant in Mexico, which will start production in late 2014. The factory will assemble compact crossovers, the Infiniti Q30 and possibly the Mercedes-Benz GLA, which will share engines and other components with the Q30.
The GLA will go on sale in the spring of 2014 in Europe and then in the U.S. in the fall of next year. Concepts of both cars are expected to be revealed at the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show next week. The GLA will initially be assembled in Rastatt, Germany while the Q30, slated to go on sale in mid 2015, is expected to first be assembled at Nissan’s Sunderland facility in the UK. Both vehicles may be built in the Aguascalientes plant to supply the North American market. Assembly of Mercedes-Benz’s CLA sedan may join them later in the decade.
In 2010, Nissan, which is allied with Renault, signed an agreement with Daimler to share vehicle platforms, engines and other components. The Q30 will be the first Nissan product to share a Daimler platform. According to a Reuters source at a European supplier, both the GLA and Q30 are based on Daimler’s new small car architecture known as NGCC, for New Generation Compact Car. The new Mercedes-Benz CLA, which goes on sale this month in the U.S., and the upcoming electric version of the B-Class also use lightweight chassis components from the NGCC. The CLA is currently assembled in Hungary but M-B executives have previously said that the next generation of the compact sedan, expected as a 2018 model, could be assembled in Mexico.
Mercedes executives have said production of the CLA could shift from Hungary to Mexico when the compact sedan is redesigned in 2018.