The M sports car will be built exclusively at the San Luis Potosi plant.
BMW's San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico has officially started production of the second-generation BMW M2 sports coupe.
The facility has come a long way since its formation in 1994 and is now solely responsible for the manufacturing of BMW M's latest offering. In doing so, the Mexican site becomes only the fourth site in the world to produce contemporary M vehicles and the first outside of the USA (Spartanburg) and Germany (Dingolfing and Munich).
As an M car, the M2 is held to specific standards and needs to meet certain validation processes. To comply, the automaker invested more than $1 billion dollars into the San Luis Potosi facility's digital transformation and to equip it with infrastructure to carry out test drives.
Employees had to receive special training, ranging from dynamic vehicle testing to assembly areas and manufacturing the vehicle itself. Previously, BMW said it would expand the factory's workforce with an additional 800 workers and add a second production shift.
The second shift, expected to commence in April 2023, will add 500 extra jobs.
While its soul is undeniably German, the BMW M2 is a proudly Mexican product. 77 local suppliers are involved in providing parts for the sports coupe, and 26 of them developed new parts for the vehicle, such as headlights, side skirts, the exhaust system, and even the front and rear axles.
The M2 is built alongside the G20 generation 3 Series and the G42 2 Series Coupe.
"Adding a new model to a line as emblematic as M, in such a short time, is proof of the company's commitment to our plant and validates the enormous talent that exists in this country. I am sure that we will continue to achieve more success," said Harald Gottsche, president and CEO of the facility.
Cynics may pull their noses up at the idea of an M car built outside of Germany, but one must remember the Spartanburg factory in North Carolina builds several M models, including the controversial XM SUV. In the 1980s, the premium automaker even built some E28 M5 sedans at BMW's Plant Rosslyn in South Africa.
We've seen the M2 in the metal and while we're somewhat unconvinced about the styling, it should be a hoot to drive thanks to outputs of 453 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque.