(Adds auto figures and investment details, paragraphs 2-3, 7-10)
MEXICO CITY, Dec 11 (Reuters) - General Motors will invest $5 billion in Mexico to double its production capacity at its plants around the country, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Thursday.
“With this investment, General Motors will double its production capacity of vehicles, engines and transmissions,” Guajardo said at a news conference in Mexico City.
Of the $5 billion, $1.4 billion has already been spent, Ernesto Hernandez, president and managing director for General Motors Mexico said, leaving $3.6 billion to be invested over the next four years through 2018.
The money will go toward expanding General Motors’ four manufacturing complexes in Mexico, modernization of production lines and technological advances in autos and auto parts, Hernandez said.
The four complexes are in the states of Coahuila, San Luis Potosi, Mexico State, and Guanajuato.
The investment will also generate up to 5,600 jobs, Hernandez said.
Including Thursday’s news, the total investment announced in Mexican autos during the first two years of Pena Nieto’s presidency is $19 billion, Economy Minister Guajardo said.
Mexico is now the seventh largest auto producer in the world, he said, up from the eighth largest in 2013.
From January to November of 2014, auto production in Mexico grew 8.7 percent from the same period in the previous year and exports rose 8.2 percent, according to data from the Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA).
In the same 11-month period, General Motors’ production in Mexico grew 5 percent while exports increased 5.6 percent. (Reporting by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein; Editing by David Gregorio)