With a goal of becoming the world’s largest automaker in mind, Volkswagen AG plans to invest $114 billion to upgrade factories and roll out an array of new vehicles for its more than a dozen different brands.
The maker, currently third in global sales behind Japan’s Toyota Motor Co. and Detroit-based General Motors, has set a goal of being the world’s “leading” automaker by 2018, the period covered by the latest plan – which calls for an investment of 84.2 billion euros. At the same time, the maker hopes to reduce spending on property, plants and equipment by 500 million euros annually.
“We will continue to invest strongly in our innovation and technology leadership,” Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said in the statement. “This will give us extra power on our way to the top.”
Over two-thirds of the planned investment will go into product, according to Volkswagen, perhaps no surprise considering the wide range of brands the maker has added over the years. VW’s Automotive Group now covers everything from small and economy vehicles, with the Seat and Skoda lines, to luxury and ultra-premium models, with Audi, Lamborghini and Bentley. Since Winterkorn took the helm in 2007, it has added Scania and MAN trucks, the Ducati motorcycle company – and completed a challenging takeover of sports car maker Porsche.