Beijing: Volkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest automaker, says it will expand its planned investments in China by €1.6 billion ($2.1 billion) and build two new factories to take advantage of booming Chinese sales.
VW along with General Motors Co. is the most popular auto brand in China and the country is the German automaker’s biggest global market.
The added investment will raise VW’s planned spending in China to €6 billion ($8 billion), the company said in a statement dated Monday. It said plans called for additional facilities in two locations but gave no details.
China overtook the United States as the world’s largest market last year, when sales rose 45% over 2008 to 13.6 million vehicles.
“Growth in the Chinese automobile market has exceeded everyone’s expectations,” said VW chairman Martin Winterkorn in the statement. “These additional investments will lay the foundations for a successful future for the Volkswagen Group in China.”
Sales of VW brands by the company and its Chinese partners rose 48% in the first three months of the year to 326,211 vehicles, according to J.D. Power and Associates.