Affinia Group Inc., announced yesterday that it is expanding its presence in Latin America with the construction of a new Wix Filtration manufacturing and distribution facility in Mexico. The company has begun construction of a 315,000 square foot facility in the rapidly growing Santa Maria Industrial Park in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, 180 miles south of Laredo, Texas. Scheduled for completion in the second half of this year, the facility initially will manufacture and distribute a variety of filtration products. “Local manufacturing will facilitate much greater penetration of the sizable filter aftermarket in Mexico, and it gives us another source of quality parts for our North American customers. “Saltillo is strategically located to serve both markets. “It is a growing area that already has more than 1.1 million people,” said Keith Wilson, President of Affinia’s Under Hood Group, which includes Wix Global Filtration. The new location in Mexico will be Affinia’s third filtration manufacturing facility in Latin America, joining existing plants in Brazil and Venezuela. It will be the company’s second new manufacturing facility to come on-line in 2007 as it joins the recently completed Wix-Filtron facility in the Ukraine. “This new flexible facility in Mexico will enhance our ability to compete globally in both the light and heavy duty filter markets. Increasing our production and distribution capabilities in Latin America is another vital part of our plan for Affinia’s transformation into a world-class, global manufacturer and distributor of high quality on and off highway replacement products,” said Terry R. McCormack, Affinia Group’s President and Chief Executive Officer.