Volkswagen Group is extensively increasing its production presence and will have 100 production sites all over the world by 2018, the company's production chief Michael Macht informed the Automotive News Europe in an interview. The group is studying the potential of opening a North American plant for its Audi brand and initiating production in Southeast Asia aside from its expansion in China, Macht stated.
Macht further disclosed that VW's takeover of MAN, which is the largest truck manufacturer in Germany with 31 facilities, will bring the group's production sites to 100 instead of 70, which is the number that the automaker has previously targeted.
He also said that in China, they are working on new production locations in Yizheng, Ningbo and Foshan. VW will also develop components works in the region, he added.
Macht also disclosed that VW is mulling over the expansion in production presence in Southeast Asia – "above all in Malaysia." Meanwhile in North America, the group is extending a components factory in Mexico and is studying the potential for a new automobile factory in the region under the control of Audi.
A core strategic goal is to build up a yearly production capacity for 10 million automobiles by 2018, Macht further disclosed, according to Autonews.
VW will not shut down the factories in Europe, which is the home base of 39 out of its 62 international automobile and parts facilities. The executive stated that the German and European production sites "are and will" still be "the backbone" of their worldwide success. This is the reason why they are "deliberately investing" in capacity and new technology there, Macht further said.
He also revealed that the total is around 28 billion euros by 2016 in Germany alone, making it "more than clear" that the nation is at the "forefront" as a Volkswagen manufacturing center versus other countries.