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Volkswagen to invest $65 bn

United States America,Business/Economy, Sun, 25 Nov 2012 IANS

Frankfurt (Germany), Nov 25 (IANS/EFE) German automaker Volkswagen has announced plans to invest a record 50.2 billion euros ($65.2 billion) through 2015 in manufacturing plants around the world and for new technologies.

The company said its board gave the green light for the investment programme, which is more than quadruple the company's operating profit of 11.3 billion euros ($14.7 billion) in 2011.

"Despite the challenging economic environment, we are investing more than ever before to reach our long?term goals," Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn said.

The investments are earmarked for Volkswagen plants around the world, especially in Germany, and for new technologies.

The investment plan also includes the newly?consolidated MAN and Porsche brands for the first time, the automaker said in a statement.

"This investment is the key to the Volkswagen Group's innovation and technology leadership. It enables us to further strengthen our competitive position and ensure that we are fit for the future," Winterkorn said.

Investment in property, plants and equipment will total 39.2 billion euros ($50.9 billion), 60 percent of it in Germany.

"In this way, we are laying the foundations to ensure that our 27 German production facilities remain at the forefront of innovation and international competitiveness," Winterkorn said.

Volkswagen plans to modernize and extend its product range across all of its brands, including investing in a new generation of MAN trucks.

Europe's largest automaker also will continue to develop hybrid and electric motors.

Volkswagen plans to invest 14.5 billion euros ($18.8 billion) in cross?product investments, including increasing the capacity of the new Audi facility in Mexico and expanding the Porsche plant in Leipzig with the new Macan model in the SUV segment.

??IANS/EFE

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