Within the next seven years, Volkswagen AG will add about eight factories, according to VW group CEO Martin Winterkorn. When Winkerkorn was interviewed by Automotive News Europe last week, he said that VW will run about 70 factories by 2018. The group has 62 factories around the world.
It’s likely that of the eight being planned, one is an Audi plant in North America. Winterkorn said that there’s a “good reason” for Audi to consider “production in the dollar zone.”
He said that the exact location is being discussed for now but they estimate that Audi will require a minimum of 150,000 units for a reasonable utilization of capacity. Included in the models to be built in North America are the Q5 and the A4, says Autonews.
Sources said that Mexico appears to be a more probable location for an Audi plant due to tax reasons, plus VW's announcement several months ago that it will construct an engine plant in Silao, Mexico. Winterkorn said that beginning in 2013, around 300,000 engines annually will be produced in Silao for North America.
Winterkorn had obviously ruled out North American production for Porsche. From a total of 62 factories, 42 are located in Europe. It’s likely that new factories would probably be established outside VW's domestic region.
Winterkorn said that VW basically has its production “where the demand is.” This is precisely why VW has recently put up new plants in Russia, India and the U.S. China plays a major role in the group's expansion plans since VW’s biggest growth is anticipated to come from that country.