Austria based Lighting supplier ZKW has commissioned the third expansion phase of its Mexican plant in Silao with an additional 15,700 square metres.

At the same time, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the next expansion phase which will create 7,000 square metres of additional production space and 1,100 new jobs by 2025.

“With the expansion, we are increasing production capacities and creating around 2,000 new jobs to manufacture innovative lighting systems for customers in the strategically important NAFTA economic region,” said group CEO Wilhelm Steger.

ZKW is spending EUR100m on the third plant expansion.

Silao has been producing headlights for BMW, Ford Lincoln, General Motors, Mercedes Benz, Nissan’s Infiniti, Volkswagen and Volvo since 2016.

Last October, ZKW said it was supplying Volvo with LED headlamps for the EX90 electric SUV.

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The company currently employs 1,658 people in Mexico supplying automakers in the US and Mexico.

From 2025, headlights and centre lamps for VW and GM will also be produced in Silao.

North America is a strategically important market for ZKW, with potential to be its second largest by 2028, accounting for around 30% of sales.

“By 2026, ZKW Mexico plans to produce around 4.5m headlights per year with up to 4,000 employees,” said plant manager Dominique Boulegue.

The plant produces complete headlamps, cover lenses, optical lenses and electronic components for lighting systems using plastic injection moulding, hard coating and painting plus anti-fog and metal vapour deposition.

The third expansion phase will boost capacity by 1.2m headlamps.