Volkswagen bested General Motors in China in the first half of the year, after growing 18 percent to over 1.8 million vehicles. VW's sales in China include Hong Kong. GM posted an 11-percent gain in China in the same period to 1.73 million units. VW surpassed GM last year as the largest foreign carmaker in the country, outselling the US carmaker for the first time in nine years.
China is considered as the key to which carmaker will come out as the largest carmaker in the world between VW, GM and Toyota. To capture more customers in China within a decade, VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn disclosed that the carmaker will build two more facilities in the country, bringing its total investment to over EUR20 billion ($27 billion).
The plants, via China FAW Group, will be located in Tianjin and Qingdao and will build compact cars. Jochen Siebert, managing director of researcher JSC Automotive Consulting, remarked that VW gaining market share since its offerings are hitting the “market right at the bull's-eye," adding that “GM is not able to match that."
The German group is intending offer more than 100 models in China by 2018, from 63 in 2013, according to a presentation posted on its Web site. VW is also planning to increase the number of dealerships in the country to over 3,600 from 2,395 outlets last year.
VW said in April that it may deliver over 3.5 million vehicles in China this year and over 10 million units globally four years earlier than initially planned. Winterkorn said in a July 7 statement that China has become BMW’s largest and most important market.
He said that to satisfy the demands of customers in China, VW will substantially expand its capacities in the country. That would allow VW to better cater to growing demand in a market that GM has estimated may reach 35 million units a year by the end of the decade.
GM also plans to increase production capacity in China to cater to that demand, expanding number of vehicles it can produce annually by 65 percent by 2020.
Earlier this year, Volkswagen unveiled the all-new VW Golf R 400 Concept at the Auto China show in Beijing. This new concept car is derived from the flagship Golf R hatchback, as developed by the Volkswagen R GmbH. It is served by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine (Type EA888) that delivers up to 400 hp of output and up to 450 Nm of torque available between 2,400 rpm and 6,000 rpm.