FRANKFURT -- Automotive supplier Robert Bosch is preparing an investment push in Mexico to build car parts for a growing North American market.

Robert Bosch, one of the world's largest car-parts makers, plans to invest 400 million euros (US$546 million) in Mexico over the next few years and create 3,000 new jobs there by 2017, Chief Executive Volkmar Denner was quoted as saying by the German newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung on Wednesday.

As part of the expansion plan, Bosch will build a research and development center and increase its production capacity.

Bosch is the latest in a growing list of companies putting money into the auto industry in Mexico.

Munich-based BMW said on Monday it would make an announcement in Mexico on July 3, all but confirming a widely expected decision to build a new factory to meet growing demand for premium cars, shortly after its rival Daimler announced similar plans.

Manufacturing in Mexico allows European car makers to sell vehicles in the United States while avoiding some of the currency and tariff costs that crimp profits on imports. Mexico also offers lower labor costs than Germany and the United States.

Bosch CEO Denner also told Stuttgarter Zeitung that business in western Europe, China and North America was better than previously expected.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Larry King

Copyright Reuters, 2014