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Auto Industry

Volkswagen plans new sales offensive in China

German carmaker Volkswagen has said it's planning a considerable sales increase in China, its most important market. The company is eyeing massive investments and the creation of a lot more jobs in the Asian country.

Ahead of the Shanghai Auto Show, German automaker Volkswagen announced Friday it was aiming to sell at least three million units in China this year, up from 2.8 million in 2012.

The Wolfsburg-based 12-brand company already sold 600,000 cars to Chinese customers in the first quarter of this year, marking a 25-percent increase in a year-on-year comparison.

The future of VW is overseas

VW said in Shanghai it would put two-thirds of its 9.8-billion-euro ($12.8-billion) overall investments in China by 2015 in the production of more environmentally friendly vehicles. VW China chief Jochem Heizmann explained the focus would be on making more low-fuel cars in the years ahead.

Large employer

Volkswagen had said earlier it would build seven new facilities in China over the next couple of years with a view to increasing its capacities to four million units per year. Last year, the company produced some 2.6 million cars in the Asian country with the help of its two Chinese partners SAIC and FAW.

The joint ventures accounted for the biggest slice of Volkswagen's overall operating profit in 2012, with 3.7 billion euros stemming from them, marking a 40-percent jump year-on-year.

VW announced its increased commitment to the Chinese market would also result in the creation of more jobs. Management said the company was planning to increase its workforce there to 100,000 by 2018, up from 75,000 at present.

hg/kms (Reuters, dpa)

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