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by Tim Beissmann

The head of production at Volkswagen Group says the automotive giant will have 100 vehicle production plants around the world by 2018 and is targeting an annual capacity of 10 million vehicles.

Volkswagen’s takeover of German truck manufacturer MAN, which has 31 production plants, pushed its initial projection from 70 factories by 2018 to 100.

The group is currently building three new production plants in China, the manufacturer’s largest market in the world. It is also looking closely at Malaysia to expand its Southeast Asia operations, and is examining the potential for an Audi plant in Mexico to strengthen its North American presence.

Volkswagen’s Michael Macht told industry journal Automotive News Europe the plan was entirely about expansion, and insisted the German-based manufacturer had no intentions of closing any of its 39 European production facilities.

Macht insisted Europe – and in particular Germany – would remain “the backbone of our global success”, and said Volkswagen Group continued to invest in new technology and capacity in the region.

Around 330,000 Volkswagen Group manufacturing workers currently produce more than 200 different models around the world.

Volkswagen became the second-largest vehicle manufacturer in 2011, with 8.16 million global vehicle sales. The German giant is unashamed and unwavering in its ambition to become the world’s largest manufacturer by 2018, and to hit 10 million sales.




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