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MEX - Ford plans new plant in Mexico's San Luis Potosi, report says

Ford Motor Co. is planning to announce a new auto plant in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi during the first quarter, two government officials familiar with company plans told  today.

The plant should produce around 350,000 cars annually, according to the two officials, and the investment should be worth slightly over $1.5 billion, one of them said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Ford declined to comment on the reports.

"We do not comment on speculation," company spokeswoman Kelli Felker said.

It is not clear yet which model will be built at the plant.

Ford said in November that it will stop building Focus compact cars at a factory in Wayne, Mich., in 2018. Officials at the UAW have said the replacement for the current Focus will be made in Mexico.

The company has not yet said where it will go.

Mexico is an increasingly attractive production base for global carmakers, with infrastructure, supply base and productivity all improving, analysts say.

A recent plunge in the Mexican peso against the dollar to 18 to the greenback from about 13 in mid-2014 has also made the country more appealing for U.S. manufacturers.

The San Luis Potosi plant would be the latest in a series of major bets on Mexico's auto sector, where total investment in the industry had reached $19 billion in the first two years of President Enrique Pena Nieto's administration alone.

The president took office in December 2012.

Source: autonews.com

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