VW Group to invest 62.4 billion euros in bid to become No. 1
Money will be used on plants, new models, r&d
FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen AG will invest 62.4 billion euros ($86.4 billion) in the coming five years as it seeks to supplant General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. at the top of the industry.
"The Volkswagen Group is investing a record amount in forward-looking projects to achieve its goal of becoming the world's best automobile manufacturer," CEO Martin Winterkorn said in a statement.
VW's 20-member board today approved the spending on plants, vehicles and r&d for VW's nine brands, including Audi, Skoda, Seat, Bentley and the core VW marque, between 2012 and 2016.
"Top of the agenda for us are investments in environmentally friendly, sustainable models and drives," Winterkorn said in the statement, issued after the board meeting.
The carmaker's Chinese joint ventures, Shanghai-Volkswagen Automotive and FAW-Volkswagen Automotive, which are not consolidated, will invest an additional 14 billion euros through 2016.
Previously, Europe's largest automaker planned to invest a combined 61.6 billion euros in the five-year period ending in 2015 (51.6 billion euros outside China and 10 billion euros in China).
VW has already announced plans to add two more Chinese production facilities, bringing its total to 11. Winterkorn said earlier this week that VW, which operates 62 factories globally, is mulling additional plants in China.
Volkswagen could sell more than 2.4 million vehicles in China this year, the CEO told reporters at the Frankfurt auto show earlier this week. "We're rather undersupplied there," he said.
The company has forecast a 5 percent increase in global deliveries this year after selling a record 7.2 million cars, SUVs and vans in 2010.
VW also opened a plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in April to supply the United States with a mid-sized sedan specifically developed for the world's second-largest car market.
The maker of Audi, Skoda and Seat brand cars is also expanding capacity in Russia.
VW suffered two major setbacks in the past week in its expansion efforts as a merger with Porsche Automobil Holding SE planned for this year was delayed and Suzuki Motor Corp. said it wants to dissolve its 20-month-old alliance.
Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg with contributions from Douglas A. BolducContact Automotive News