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Audi in tax dispute over factory in Mexico

German carmaker Audi said Monday it has agreed for its plant in Mexico to be audited to help put an end to a tax payment dispute with Mexican authorities.

Officials in the Mexican city of San José Chiapa in Puebla said the plant owes the municipality 90 million pesos ($4.25 million) in unpaid taxes.

Several news outlets in Mexico reported that the mayor of San José Chiapa, Arturo Graciel López, ordered the plant to be closed on Friday evening. Audi officials said the plant never closed and the company was meeting its obligations.

“There was never any closure,” Christine Kuhlmeyer, a communications official with Audi Mexico, told Reuters on Sunday. “There were efforts like what’s been reported in the news, but they weren’t able to close the plant.”

In a statement on its Twitter page, Audi said it would hand over all documentation requested at Monday’s meeting to officials in San José Chiapa. The plant will also be open to an audit.

“Collaborators from Audi Mexico held a meeting with representatives of the state government of Puebla, as well as the municipal government of San José Chiapa, [Monday] at the facilities of Casa Aguayo. The documentation required from the company, derived from the meeting, will be delivered in full and the factory opens its doors to be audited at the time that the authorities decide,” according to the statement from Audi Mexico. 

Audi is the luxury car unit of Europe’s biggest carmaker, Volkswagen. The plant in San José Chiapa, which opened in 2016, assembles Q5 vehicles, producing around 100,000 cars annually. The plant employs 7,000 workers.

Volkswagen also has an auto plant in nearby Puebla City, where the carmaker assembles Jettas, Golfs and Tiguans. Volkswagen and Audi have more than 20,000 total auto workers in Mexico.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Noi Mahoney.

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