CHICAGO Volkswagen Group
will invest 50 billion ($64.6 billion) over the next
three years to build new plants and upgrade older facilities,
as well as develop new models and environmentally friendly
"Despite the challenging
economic environment, these investments are the key to
Volkswagens innovation and technology leadership. It
enables us to further strengthen our competitive position and
ensure that we are fit for the future," VW chairman Martin
Investments in property, plants
and equipment will account for 39.2 billion ($50.65
billion), 60 percent of which will be spent in Germany "to
ensure our 27 German production facilities remain at the
forefront of innovation and international competitiveness,"
In particular, VW will continue
to press ahead with the development of hybrid and electric
motors using flexible platform production systems.
One of the major production
investments will be in San José Chiapa, Puebla, Mexico,
where the Audi brand will use North Americas "enormous
growth potential even more systematically," Winterkorn
The Mexican plant, which will
assemble the Audi Q5 by early 2016, "provides us with an ideal
basis from which to intensify our global growth," Audi chairman
Rupert Stadler said. "A stable economic growth of up to 5
percent a year makes Mexico the growth engine of Latin America.
Competitive cost structures and diverse free-trade agreements
with North and South American markets and with Europe will help
us further increase our sales."
Preparations for construction
have already been completed, and work on the first buildings
should begin as early as spring 2013.