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German Automakers Up Their Investments Overseas

Money flowing to China – but also the U.S.

by on Jun.09, 2011

Chancellor Angela Merkel will discuss German investments in the U.S. during a White House visit.

German automakers have stepped their investment in new plants and equipment, according to a new report from the German Trade and Investment Agency – but much of the money is flowing overseas, particularly to China, as well as the United States.

The new Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee is only the latest example of how German makers are globalizing their investments, as is a new BMW plant in China.  Many of the new projects are geared at sustainable mobility projects, according to the report.

“With several world-renowned automakers, Germany has long been a top location for automotive innovation. The paradigm shift to sustainable mobility again confirms Germany’s position as a launch pad for new technologies that can reach markets around the globe,” said Dr. Juergen Friedrich, Chief Executive of Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin.

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BMW investments in China have recently doubled and construction of a new $600 million BMW plant in Leipzig is underway. The facility will soon see electric BMWs rolling off the assembly line, Friedrich said.

Volkswagen inaugurated its $1 billion plant in Tennessee less than two weeks ago and the maker appears to be giving serious consideration to adding a second U.S. plant for its Audi brand.

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Volkswagen Now Likely to Swallow Porsche

Porsche's Wiedeking may fall over failed bid to buy bigger VW.

by on Jul.20, 2009

Wendelin Wiedeking has helped turn Porsche into one of the world's most profitable automakers. But he could take the fall for an abortive bid for VW.

Wendelin Wiedeking has helped turn Porsche into one of the world's most profitable automakers. But he could take the fall for an abortive bid for VW.

Is the man responsible for Porsche’s dramatic success, over the last decade, about to take the fall for the German maker’s bold but seemingly futile David-v-Goliath bid to acquire rival Volkswagen?

But from a financial standpoint, at least, Wendelin Wiedeking could make out well should he be forced out as Porsche’s chief executive officer, according to industry sources, who say the hard-driving German manager could claim millions for, among other things, the profit sharing bonuses he’d have stood to collect had he completed a contract now set to expire in 2012.

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For months, VW and Porsche have been locked in a bitter battle for control that is, in many respects, a familial melee, the latest in a long-running dispute between the two wings of the Porsche fortune.  Ferdinand Porsche helped create both VW – where heir Ferdinand Piech reigns supreme – and Porsche – where Wolfgang Porsche serves as chairman.

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