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VW Investing $114 Bil in Bid for Global Sales Leadership

New products to get majority of investment.

by on Nov.22, 2013

The new investment program will see the CrossBlue concept put into production.

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.”

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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.


Toyota Retains Ichiban Title in 2009

Despite a 13% sales drop, Japanese maker easily beats VW.

by on Jan.25, 2010

The Japanese auto giant, though mired in the Great Recession, stays on top.

Toyota Motor Corporation remains the world’s largest automaker, according to sales data released today in Tokyo. Vehicle sales for Toyota and its affiliated brands, including Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino, totaled 7.81 million vehicles worldwide for calendar year 2009, compared with 8.97 million vehicles a year earlier.

Overall, sales declined by 13% compared to 2008, particularly in the United States and Japan, Toyota’s two biggest markets. Sales increased in China, which passed the U.S. as the world’s largest auto market last year.

Even with the decrease in sales, Toyota handily beat Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest maker, which set a record for sales at 6.29 million vehicles globally worldwide, a slight increase from 2008. VW executives leave no doubt that they intend to surpass Toyota as the leader eventually.

Toyota surpassed General Motors as the world’s largest automaker in 2008, ending GM’s 77-year record on top of the global sales charts.

GM is expected to remain number two when final global numbers are available.

In the U.S., GM continues to lead Toyota whose sales dropped 20% to 1.8 million units, while GM, off 30%, came in at 2.1 million units.