Volkswagen Group is planning to raise production in China by 60% by the year 2018 based on its 2012 earnings increased by over 40%. From the current capacity in China of around 2.5 million units, VW Group wants to produce 4 million vehicles a year by 2018. CEO Martin Winterkorn said that a new plant in China that gets the approval of the supervisory board will roll out up to 300,000 vehicles each year and will begin operations in early 2016.
Winterkorn gave a speech at the automaker's annual press conference where he said that within the next several years, it will construct at least 10 more plants, of which seven will be located in China. VW’s strategy for China will mean raising the number of Volkswagen's car factories to 19.
VW also plans to offer a "true budget car” in China in a matter of years. It will be priced at 6,000 to 7,000 euros, equivalent to about $7,757 to $9,050. VW expects that by expanding in the U.S. and in China and by recording gains from Audi, it will be able to offset the weakening of demand in Europe. The VW Group is hoping to achieve sales of 1 million units in the U.S. by 2018.
These include VW-brand sales of 800,000 and Audi’s annual volume of 200,000 units. Winterkorn reaffirmed that VW is developing a large SUV to widen the Volkswagen brand's range of offerings for the U.S. market.
The concept form of this model was seen as the CrossBlue last January at the Detroit auto show. It will be using the new modular design toolkit that was launched on the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf. Winterkorn said that there’s no confirmation yet that it will enter production. However, it will continue to pursue its renewed commitment to the U.S. that has now started to “bear fruit.”