Volkswagen unveils $70.6-bn investment over the next five years

Europe's largest carmaker Volkswagen AG today said that it will spend €51.6 billion ($70.6 billion) over the next five years, a majority of it on updating its manufacturing plants and equipment, and on the development of new models and powertrains.

Earlier in 2009 Volkswagen, which remained relatively unscathed by the global financial recession due to strong sales in the Chinese markets, had announced an  investment of €25.8 billion till 2012.  

Enlarging the scope of the investment, VW today said that it will invest €41.3 billion between 2011 and 2015 on property, plant and equipment in the automotive division on modernising and extending the product range of all its brands. Over half or 57 per cent of this will be invested in Germany.

The remaining €10.3 billion will cover ''capitalised development costs,'' the carmaker said in a statement.

''The Volkswagen Group will help shape the technological turning point in key areas of the automotive industry and, to do this, will continue investing in environmentally friendly technologies, efficient drives and new models," said Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board of management of VW.

Winterkorn added, "We are systematically pursuing the goals of our Strategy 2018 to further increase our profitability and to make Volkswagen the world's most future-proof automotive group. The investment program we have now resolved will play a significant role in this.''

The focus of the carmaker will be on new vehicles, successor models and derivatives in almost all vehicle classes based on modular technology. This will allow VW to continue its model rollout aimed at tapping new markets and segments.