In an effort to expand and modernize its plant in Portugal, Volkswagen will invest 500 million euros (US$656 million) over the next five years, the company said on March 12.
"The factory will invest to produce new models and modernize its existing equipment. With this investment it will be possible to almost double production by 2010," Economy Minister Manuel Pinho said.
The Autoeuropa plant, located southeast of the capital Lisbon, produced 81,835 vehicles in 2006, up from 79,896 in 2005, its first production increase since 2002, according to company figures.
Volkswagen, Europe's largest carmaker, produces mostly its VW Sharan and VW Eos models at the plant. Over 98% of the vehicles made at the plant last year were exported.
The company has invested more than two billion euros in the plant since it opened in 1995, making it Portugal's biggest foreign investment project. The plant accounted for nearly one percent of Portugal's gross domestic product, and 3.49% of the nation's exports, last year.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007