German vehicle manufacturer BMW announced here on Monday it is going to build its first factory in Brazil.
The announcement was made earlier in the day by BMW's Vice President Ian Robertson after he met with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
The plant will be located in Araquari, in Santa Catarina state, in south Brazil, said Robertson, adding that the company will invest a total of 200 million euros (261.5 million U.S. dollars) in the new plant.
According to Robertson, the construction of the new factory is expected to start in April 2013 and is expected to start manufacturing in 2014.
The first model to be produced in Araquari will be the BMW X1, but others may follow according to local demands.
Robertson highlighted the importance of the Brazilian market to the company and the potential for growth. BMW currently sells some 10,000 to 12,000 units per year, and expects to reach 30,000 units per year in the future.
He also pledged that the vehicles produced in the new plant would follow the specifications of the Brazilian government's plan of Inovar Auto, which will take effect in 2013 with the aim to produce more efficient, less pollutive cars by granting tax breaks to manufacturers who manage to achieve these goals.
The new plant will generate some 1,000 jobs in the installation phase, and the company will offer qualification training to local workers.