General Motors announced that the all-new Onix subcompact sedan will be built at its San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico for both local and other Latin American markets.
The plant, which is currently building the Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Trax and GMC Terrain crossovers, cut one of three shifts on August 12, so this recent announcement is a sign it may return to full capacity as the Onix enters production.
For now, the automaker will wait to see if demand for the small sedan will be big enough to warrant a reinstatement of the canceled third shift, GM Mexico CEO Francisco Garza told Autonews Mexico. The factory has the capacity to build up to 160,000 vehicles a year.
Unveiled in China this spring, the all-new model will enter production in Mexico in December before going on sale in the first quarter of 2020. Its addition to the plant is part of an $800 million investment announced in 2015 during GM CEO Mary Barra’s visit to Mexico.
The Onix, which is underpinned by GM’s new GEM platform for emerging markets, is expected to represent a significant portion of the brand’s sales in Mexico, where subcompact sedans have a market share of almost 35 percent. The San Luis Potosi factory will build the car mainly for the Mexican market, although some of the production will be exported to other Latin American countries.
In Latin America, the Onix will compete with other newcomers, such as the 2020 Nissan Versa and 2020 VW Virtus. No specs were released, but in China, it is powered by a 1.0-liter EcoTec 325T turbocharged three-cylinder rated at 123 HP (125 PS) and 180 Nm (133 lb-ft) of torque that’s mated to a six-speed Dynamic Start/Stop Shift (DSS) automatic transmission.
GM Mexico says standard equipment consists of six airbags, ABS, EBD, brake assist, backup camera and reverse parking assistance. The Onix will also pack a seven-inch touchscreen for the latest Chevrolet infotainment system, which will include Bluetooth connection for two phones simultaneously, USB ports and a wireless charger.