Ford has confirmed an earlier-reported spend of $2.5bn on two new factories in the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Guanjuato to make engines and transmissions.

The plan includes the automaker’s first transmission plant in Mexico.

Ford, which has operated in Mexico for 90 years, said the new factories would create 3,800 direct new jobs.

The new engine factory will be added to Ford’s existing Chihuahua Engine Plant and will produce a new petrol motor. The $1.1bn investment and 1,300 new jobs there will allow the automaker to export engines to the US, Canada, South America and the Asia-Pacific region, supporting the company’s growing small car lines which are now sold worldwide.

Another $200m will be spent – creating 500 more new jobs – to expand production of current I4 and diesel engines in Chihuahua. This, Ford said, would make the factory the biggest engine plant in Mexico.

In addition, with longtime partner Getrag (with which Ford has numerous transmission making joint ventures and supply deals, especially for the dual clutch units popular in Europe) the automaker is building a new transmission plant within the supplier’s premises in Irapuato in Guanajuato state (that joint venture facility was announced during 2008).

That $1.2bn spend will create another 2,000 new jobs and, despite the exisiting joint venture with Getrag, is being billed as Ford’s first transmission factory in Mexico. It will produce two new automatic transmissions for key vehicle models sold primarily in South America, Europe and Asia Pacific as well as elsewhere in North America.

“Ford is making a significant commitment to our business in Mexico with investment in two new facilities while aiming to make our vehicles even more fuel efficient with a new generation of engines and transmissions,” said Joe Hinrichs, the automaker’s president of The Americas.

“These new engines and transmissions will help deliver even better driving experiences and fuel economy gains for customers around the world.”

“Today’s announcement is an important milestone in [our] 90 year history in Mexico,” said Gabriel Lopez, Ford of Mexico president and CEO. “Currently within [the company], Mexico is the fourth vehicle producer, the fourth largest engine producer and is the second largest nation supplying [our] global manufacturing facilities. We look forward to delivering even more great products, including new engines and now transmissions.”

Ford has 11,300 employees in Mexico where the Fiesta, Fusion [NAFTA Mondeo] and Lincoln MKZ plus hybrid versions of both are manufactured. Ford also has an engineering centre there, employing 1,100 engineers to support global projects.