VW Expands South African Plant

Company is already leader in passenger car market for South Africa but sees more growth

Europe's biggest automaker Volkswagen said on June 17 it would expand its South African operations with investments in a plant in Uitenhage and a distribution cenetr near Pretoria.

VW said it would invest about 70 million euros (US$85 million) on top of around 500 million already ploughed into South Africa over the past four years as part of its goal to become the world's biggest carmaker.

"The Uitenhage plant plays an important role in this context," a statement quoted VW chairman Martin Winterkorn as saying.

Production at the plant is expected to double this year as its press shop is modernized and expanded with 50 million euros in investment.

Another 23 million euros is expected to be spent on a new distribution center in Centurion, near Pretoria, the statement said.

"Volkswagen is the market leader on South Africas passenger car market. Our existing investment, coupled with the new measures, lays the foundation for staying on our growth path," Winterkorn said.

VW hopes to overtake Toyota as the world's leading carmaker by 2018.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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