With some luxury-car makers, at least, the reverse may be true. The Audi deal shows that besides its low-cost labor, Mexico’s trade pacts give it allure in the global car market, threatening the American South’s industrial renewal.
Seven Asian and European auto makers have opened new Mexican assembly plants, or disclosed plans for one, in little more than a year. Other car companies have financed significant expansions in Mexico, among them Nissan Motor Co., General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.
Last week, VW said it would spend $1 billion expanding a Mexican plant to build a small SUV for the U.S. and some foreign markets. All told, auto makers and parts suppliers have earmarked more than $20 billion of new investments, Mexican officials say.