Ford Motor Company said Tuesday it will invest $1.6 billion in a new plant in Mexico to produce small cars.

The plant, in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi, "will create 2,800 additional direct jobs by 2020," Ford said in a statement.

Construction begins at mid-year, "with new small cars expected to start rolling off the line in 2018."

The Dearborn, Michigan-based company said it will later announce which models will be produced at the new plant.

Ford has had operations in Mexico, including vehicle manufacturing, since 1925.

The company said that Mexico is its fourth largest vehicle manufacturing site behind the United States, China and Germany.

Vehicles produced in Mexico are sold in the United States and Canada, China and South Korea, and most of South America.

The new plant is part of the company's One Ford product and manufacturing plan "to serve global markets and deliver profitable growth," the statement said.