Volkswagen To Invest Over $6 Billion In China

By Agence France-Presse German auto manufacturer Volkswagen AG said July 15 it planned to invest 6 billion euros (US$6.7 billion) in China over the next five years, building two new factories with a view to doubling capacity there by 2008. Volkswagen, currently the market leader in China, said it planned to build the two new sites in Shanghai and Changchun, where it is already present via joint ventures with its Chinese partner, First Automotive Works. The car maker was also looking for other possible production sites in China, it added. The two new factories would enable Volkswagen to double its output in China from 800,000 cars annually at present to 1.6 million cars in the next five years. The Changchun factory, scheduled to open at the end of 2004 or the beginning of 2005, would have an annual production capacity of 330,000 cars. Volkswagen is hoping the investment will enable it to defend its leading position in the Chinese car market, where it commands a share of around 40%, at a time when other automakers are revving up competition in the region. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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