Automotive metalcaster Nemak staged an opening event earlier this month for its new high-pressure diecasting plant in Monterrey, Mexico. Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto officiated at the event, which marked the start-up of Nemak’s seventh operation in Mexico.

Series production of aluminum automotive components — primarily engine blocks, but also transmission cases and structural products — will begin in the first half of this year, Nemak indicated.

In addition to high-pressure diecasting, the plant will have finish-machining capability for the range of its products.

When the new plant was announced in late 2014 Nemak projected it as a $125-million investment, though now it pegs the total investment at $200 million.  At that time, the company also forecast the plant would employ up to 500 workers.

“This facility represents a key development in the execution of our strategy,” according to CEO Armando Tamez, speaking in 2014. “It will strengthen our capacity to produce core powertrain components like engine blocks and complex transmission cases. Also, we will have the capacity to produce structural components, which have become an emerging source for the OEMs to reduce vehicle weight and comply with more stringent regulations on fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.”

While headquartered in Monterrey, Nemak now has 36 operations worldwide, with over 21,000 workers.