The Puebla factory was Audi’s 12th plant when it was inaugurated back in September 2016. It’s the place where the Q5 is built alongside its hot SQ5 and electrified Q5 TFSIe derivatives at a factory that employed 5,268 workers at the end of 2019. As with most car plants around the world affected by the coronavirus outbreak, production was stopped earlier this year.
The good news is the Puebla factory will begin to pump out Q5s from Monday, June 15. However, Automotive Logistics has learned from an Audi spokesperson the production output will be reduced as only 30% of the workforce will return, with all employees having to comply with the stringent hygiene regulations imposed by the local Ministry of Health. Production of the luxury crossover will gradually increase in the coming weeks after more than two months of inactivity.
The Puebla factory is Audi’s first car plant established outside of Europe. Nearly all of the Q5s made in Mexico are exported, with only 5% being sold to domestic customers. In 2019, a total of 156,995 vehicles were produced, with most of them headed to China, the United States, and Germany. It represented a significant decrease compared to 2018 when Audi put together 173,734 Q5s for global consumption.
The automaker had no other way but to close up shop on March 23 when it ran out of parts as a consequence of its suppliers being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, Audi also had some problems shipping out the Q5s to their rightful owners, but now everything is slowly getting back to normal. Well, the new normal…
There should be some changes coming later this year to the Puebla factory considering the Q5 will go through the typical mid-cycle facelift. In addition, the midsize luxury crossover will spawn a swoopy Q5 Sportback, but it hasn’t been announced yet whether the more stylish version will also be built at the Puebla factory. That would make the most sense to us.