Volkswagen to Invest $70 Billion in Development During 2011-2015

Company's goal is to become the world's top car maker by 2018

Volkswagen said on Nov. 19 that it planned to invest 51.6 billion euros (US$70.7 billion) in the next four years to develop new models and attain its objective of becoming the world's top car maker by 2018.

With another 10.6 billion euros to be invested by its joint ventures in China, the company said it aims to "expand and modernise its entire product line across all of its brands."

The investments, to come from the company's own funds, will focus on hybrids and electric vehicles, where it lags behind Japan's Toyota, which it hopes to unseat as the top global car manufacturer within seven years.

Last year Volkswagen said it planned to invest 25.8 billion euros between 2010 and 2012.

Volkswagen steered around being significantly damaged by the global crisis, thanks in large part to continued boom the Chinese car market, and was sitting on a cash pile of 19.6 billion euros at the end of September.

The company, which already owns nine brands, is in the process of absorbing a tenth, luxury sports car maker Porsche.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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