By Daina Beth Solomon and Dave Graham
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -German carmaker Audi is this month scheduled to announce plans to begin producing electric vehicles in Mexico, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, joining other major carmakers in ramping up EV output in Mexico.
Asked to comment, a spokesman in Germany said the company had no such plans.
Audi, a unit of Volkswagen, has since 2016 made the Audi Q5, a compact SUV, in the central Mexican state of Puebla, and later added a hybrid version.
An announcement on Audi’s EV expansion plans is due to be made July 18 at its plant in San Jose Chiapa, Puebla, according to people familiar with the matter.
Top management from Germany is expected to attend the event surrounding what is likely to be a major investment, they said.
An Audi spokesman in Germany said no specific announcement was planned in Mexico.
“There is no announcement planned, and we cannot confirm any business trips or announcements,” the spokesman said.
Audi’s goal is for each of its global production sites, including Mexico, to make at least one EV by 2030, he added.
The state is also home to a Volkswagen auto plant, one of the biggest in Mexico, and numerous parts suppliers.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said last month more investments were soon expected in Puebla’s auto industry. It was unclear how much Audi plans to invest.
Puebla’s economy ministry did not respond to requests for comment. Volkswagen in Mexico declined to comment.
Both Audi and Volkswagen have outlined broad goals for boosting their EV production worldwide. Volkswagen last year said it would invest more than $7 billion in the next five years in North America, including for EV production.
In Mexico, Volkswagen last year announced a $763 million investment to upgrade the Puebla plant, including a new paint division running on electric energy.
Last year, Mexico’s then-Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said during a tour of Audi’s Puebla plant that he looked forward to more investment from the company as Mexico steps up production of more environmentally friendly cars.
Mexican officials and company executives discussed growth plans at the plant, as well as the transition underway at the whole group for producing “solely completely electric cars in the future,” Audi said in a statement at the time.
(Reporting by Dave Graham and Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by David Gregorio)
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