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Business

Volkswagen unveils massive investments in race to become world auto leader

The board of German auto giant Volkswagen has approved massive investments into new technologies and car models. They are intended to make VW the world’s top-selling carmaker ahead of General Motors and Toyota.

Over the next five years, Volkswagen (VW) was planning to spend 84.2 billion euros ($114 billion) on upgrading technologies, modernizing plants and developing new car models, Europe's biggest auto maker announced Friday.

The company's supervisory board have approved the 2014-2018 investment plan, VW said, which was aimed at making the German carmaker the world's leading manufacturer by 2018, overtaking current top-seller Toyota and runner-up General Motors.

The plan would give the 12-brand carmaker extra power on its race to the top, said VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn.

“We will continue to invest strongly in our innovation and technology leadership, despite the uncertain economic environment,” he said.

According to the VW investment plan, the firm has earmarked about 41 billion euros for the development of new car models. Some 22 billion euros are to be spent on boosting production capacity and cost-saving improvements. In addition, VW plans to invest more than 18 billion euros into its joint ventures in China, which has become the carmaker's main growth market.

However, Volkswagen remains strongly committed to its production in Germany.

“The amount being invested in Germany is a strong testament to the fact that our home locations will continue to play a key role in the globally positioned group going forward,” CEO Winterkorn said in his statement.

uhe/ph (Reuters, dpa)