Hella has increased the production capacity of its San Jose Iturbide electronics plant with a 50,000 sq ft expansion.

This will enable the supplier to increase production of transmission range sensors and surface-mount technology products.  The plant opened in 2008 and now employs 350 people on three shifts.

The plant, 155 miles north of Mexico City, produces electronics components for the US, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina and also exports to Europe.

"Our San Jose Iturbide plant plays an important part in our strategy to meet customers' needs by manufacturing our products close to their facilities," said Samir Gandhi, managing director, Hella Electronics Mexico. "Mexico has become an important automotive manufacturing centre not only to supply North America but also Central and South America."

The free trade agreement between NAFTA and Mercosur assists exports to Brazil, he added.

Products manufactured at the factory include accelerator pedal sensors, vacuum pumps, washer pumps, transmission range sensors, body controllers and surface mount technology subassemblies.

Future products may include actuators for turbo applications, grille shutter actuators, steering angle sensors and lighting electronics products.

The plant currently supplies American, Japanese and German automakers and several Tier 1 suppliers.

Hella also produces lighting components at two plants in Guadalajara and another one in Mexico City, supplying BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mercedes, Nissan, Volkswagen and others.