For several years Volkswagen has been boasting of a plan to become world?s largest automaker, and sales have indicated they were headed that direction.? Now the 20-member VW board has taken an even more aggressive step by committing an additional $86.4 billion to build new plants, vehicles and for more research and development between 2012 and 2016. ?CEO Martin Winterkorn said “Top of the agenda for us are investments in environmentally friendly, sustainable models and drives.”
In 2010, VW made a similar investment of an additional $71 billion outside China and $13.7 in China over a five-year period.? ?Volkswagen has a strong presence in the Chinese joint ventures, Shanghai-Volkswagen Automotive and FAW-Volkswagen Automotive, and plans to invest an additional $19.3 billion there through 2016. ?Volkswagen currently has 11 plants in China and operates 62 factories globally.? The company estimates Chinese sales for this year could reach more than 2.4 million vehicles. ?The global forecast for 2011 is for a record 7.5 million units.
Earlier this year, the largest European auto maker opened a new plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. to build the new mid-size Passat for the U.S.? They are also expanding capacity at Audi, Skoda and Seat brand plants in Russia.