Volkswagen to invest billions in fuel-efficiency, new factories | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 21.11.2014
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Volkswagen to invest billions in fuel-efficiency, new factories

Volkswagen has announced a new multi-billion investment plan for the next five years. Newer, more fuel-efficient models are on the way, plus massive expansion in China.

Volkswagen said Friday it would invest 85.6 billion euros ($106.3 billion) in new vehicle models, factory expansions and technologies to make its automobiles more fuel-efficient, in a bid to become the world's industry leader both economically and ecologically.

The lion's share of the expenditures would go toward developing more fuel-efficient vehicles and production methods as the company strived to meet carbon dioxide emissions targets, Volkswagen said.

The new spending plan will take the company's capital investments to between 6 and 7 percent of its overall revenue from 2015 to 2019.

Around 41.3 billion euros are slated for new models, including a range of sports utility vehicles and new hybrid and electric drives. Some 23 billion euros will be spent on new production facilities in Poland and Mexico, while 22 billion euros will go toward its operations in China where the multi-brand company is massively expanding its foothold#.

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German carmakers targeting Chinese market

Volkswagen Group Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said the investment plan will help the brand become "the leading automotive group in both ecological and economic terms with the best and most sustainable products."

The announcement came amid wider cost-cutting measures announced by Winterkorn last summer that are aimed at saving the company 5 billion euros a year. Although details of the savings drive have not been made public. Major job cuts are not expected.

cjc/hg (Reuters, dpa)

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