Volkswagen Group is significantly boosting its production footprint and will have 100 production locations worldwide by 2018, the automaker's production chief, Michael Macht, told Automotive News Europe.
The group is considering opening a factory for its Audi brand in North America and launching production in southeast Asia, in addition to expanding in China, Macht said in an interview.
VW's takeover of MAN, Germany's biggest truck maker with 31 factories, will take the group's production locations to 100 instead of 70, the number previously targeted by the automaker, he said.
"In China, we are working on new production locations in Foshan, Yizheng and Ningbo," Macht said. In addition VW will develop components works in the region.
VW is looking more closely at expanding in production presence in southeast Asia – "above all in Malaysia," Macht said. In North America, the group is expanding a parts factory in Mexico and is examining the possibility for a new car plant in the region under Audi's leadership.
A core strategic aim is to build up an annual production capacity for 10 million vehicles by 2018, Macht said.
VW will not close European factories in Europe, which is home to 39 of its 62 global vehicle and components plants. "Just the opposite - our German and European production locations are and will remain the backbone of our global success. That's why we are deliberately investing in new technology and capacity there," the executive said.
He added: "The total is about 28 billion euros by 2016 in Germany alone. That makes it more than clear that Germany is at the forefront as a Volkswagen manufacturing center compared with other countries."
VW has 30,000 suppliers, including 6,000 core suppliers, and this will remain unchanged for the future, Macht said, pointing out that rival automakers that use single-sourcing for parts were harder hit than VW during the recent natural disasters in Japan and Thailand.