Volkswagen Group raised spending on developing electric-car and digital technologies to 60 billion euros ($66 billion) over the next five years as the automaker pushes ahead amid an industry slump.
The new five-year budget amounts to an increase of about 36 percent compared with its previous plan, VW said in a news release Friday following a meeting of the supervisory board that represents key stakeholders.
The annual average spending on areas such as hybridization, electric mobility and digitalization rises to 12 billion euros from 8.8 billion euros.
"We are resolutely pressing ahead with the transformation of the Volkswagen Group and focusing our investments on the future of mobility," Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch said in the statement.
VW said it will increase investment for electric vehicles by about 10 percent to 33 billion euros.
The automaker plans to build 75 electric car variants and about 60 hybrid vehicles, it said.
New EVs on its mass-market MEB electric platform will include an ID-badged SUV, with production expected to start in 2022 at its factory in Emden, Germany, VW said. The SUV will be about the same size as the VW Tiguan.
About 20 million of the battery-powered vehicles planned through 2029 will be based on the MEB architecture, it said. These will include models for the VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat brands.
Most of the remaining 6 million, mainly upscale Audi and Porsche EVs, will be based on the PPE high-performance electric platform.
VW said a decision about a new multibrand plant is scheduled to be made by year-end. Last month the company postponed the final decision on whether to build the factory in Turkey amid international criticism of the country's military operation in Syria and concerns about potential reputational fallout.
VW’s spending plan comes amid pressure from Tesla, which this week stepped up the electric-car race on VW’s German home turf by announcing it would build a factory outside Berlin.
VW lowered its global vehicle delivery forecast last month as demand waned in key markets including its biggest sales region, China.
Chief Financial Officer Frank Witter said VW reduced output plans by 900,000 cars and is prepared to cut that further to avoid bloated inventories. He acknowledged the weaker market development would affect future budget planning.
Automotive News Europe and Reuters contributed to this report