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Volkswagen Group will invest 50.2 billion euros ($62.3 billion) in its automotive division over the next three years as it aims to accelerate through the challenges of the embattled European market.

The three-year investment strategy, which covers the period from 2013 to 2015, is 24 months shorter than Volkswagen’s usual five-year planning cycle, and highlights the German manufacturing giant’s cautious approach to the uncertain market.

Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn said despite the economic challenges in Europe and a shortening of its investment plans, the group was spending more than ever in pursuit of achieving its long-term goals.

“This investment is the key to 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 account for 39.2 billion euros ($48.6 billion) of the total sum, with 60 per cent of that figure ($29.2 billion) destined for the group’s 27 German production facilities.

Volkswagen Group works council chairman Bernd Osterloh said strong investment and a focus on production versatility would be fundamental to the company’s profitable and sustainable growth.

“We are … investing in securing our proven flexible production network between plants,” Osterloh said. “This enables flexible production of different volumes and products at our locations to meet market requirements.

“The investment planning agreed upon also represents a clear commitment to securing jobs and employment at Volkswagen, particularly in light of the difficult conditions seen in the automotive industry.”

The investment will see continued development of new-generation engines – including hybrid and electric motors – with a focus on performance enhancements and reduced fuel consumption and emissions.

Money will also be directed towards a new Audi plant in Mexico, the expansion of Porsche’s Leipzig plant for the new premium mid-sized Macan SUV, as well as increased production of automatic transmissions.

The last time Volkswagen laid out a three-year strategy was in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis.

  • Noddy_of_Toyland

    Say what you want about VW reliability, they are class acts, and this new Golf will shoot straight to the top of the class, where the last generation still sits.

    • Golfmother

      Dead right getting rave reviews world wide , raising the bar .

      • F1orce

        I heard from someone that before any review of the Volkswagen Golf is officially published, a draft copy must first be sent off to Volkswagen for approval?..

        • Golfschwein

          It sounds like a combination of paranoia and liver-gnawing jealousy to me. I doubt very much that 30 year industry stalwarts like Peter Robinson, John Carey (who once complained, about 2003, that all VWs feel as though they have their dampers installed upside down for Australia) and George Kacher would fall for that one. They’d simply report it, just like they reported Hyundai’s attempt to curry Australian journos’ favour by offering them Sonatas at half price.

          Sadly for haters, first reports from respected journos like these guys are that the Mk VII is a blinder. George Kacher, who’ll very happily pour cold water on just about any car, wrote that the Mk VII launches itself clean out of the Astra and Focus pack to land smack bang in the middle of Merc and BMW territory, because it’s just so damned good. I’m reading it in CAR Magazine right now.

          • F1orce

            What makes the Golf so special anyway?

            Have you ever driven one? There really isn’t anything special by the way it drives.

            If anything, it’s a rather uncomfortable car to be sitting in for an extended period of time.. 

          • Thompson

            You’re asking Golfshwein if he’s ever driven a Golf ?
            Not too smart are you F1 ?
            I’ve driven 2 ( Golf 5 & 6) and they are special.
            Best hatch you can buy…world car of the year, aussie car of the year, etc, etc.
            So we must all be wrong coz F1 says so..
            Jerk !!

          • Golfmother

            I have owned BMW , Honda ,Subaru and two other golfs , the mk6 is a very comfortable car ,

            I regulaly do adelaide/geelong in one day on my own , always exit with no aches and iam 182cm ,, best seats yet , and they are writing that mk7 is even more comfortable .

            Until this car i have always rated BMW most comfortable  on a long trip .

            Handling , well you obviously are stuck in your gas guzzling camry 1999 time warp with floppy handling and its a bit slow , the world has changed .

          • Noddy_of_Toyland

            He owns one you nonce. The quality of even the 90TSI current model, which my brother in law owns, is tangible by every sense of the word. The rubber-edged dials, cool metals, and the feeling of total solidity (perhaps not for those with the troublesome DSG) is far beyond its Japanese and Korean competitors, and indeed a closer rival for A3 1-Series et al. I would never buy one for myself, preferring a Skoda or Toyota for utmost reliability and parts cost, but that doesn’t mean I can’t recognise quality in the Volkswagen. 
            I suspect you would be an uncomfortable person to be around for an extended period of time.

          • JooberJCW

            Its more about the complete package of the car, quality, frugal, excellent engine in a subtle yet attractive chassis, sure it doesnt make A+ in some areas, but its ‘A’ in every area, and a benchmark for all car manufacturers making a hot hatch.

          • Golfschwein

            A-ha!!! :)

            Classic question from a non-owner, but that’s not meant to criticise you. I’ll simply answer your question, and you don’t have to see it this way if you don’t want to.What’s so special about them is that they are seemingly plain and unsurprising cars that reveal themselves in time to be the exact opposite. That makes them a superior choice to something that looks fantastic and ends up being surprisingly ordinary. There are plenty of those out there.

            Your quote about the seats is a prime example. Yes, they seem hard, initially, but you can drive all day in them. As for the rest of the car (a Mk V), I could have designed it for myself, such was its perfect execution. 

            By contrast, I couldn’t have possibly designed my current car, a BA Falcon, for myself. I wouldn’t have made the door openings so mean, the steering wheel so low, the seat so high, the windscreen header so low, the finishes so cheap, the stereo so poor and the switches so non-illuminated. There’s far, far more, but I won’t go on.

            The innocuous, exasperatingly excellent diesel Golf ended up being my favourite car out of 17. I guess that’s what creates fans.

          • twincharger

            F1 The new rolf looks like whitegoods on wheels.Without the capped price servicing and Toyota’s reliability.

          • Golfmother

            Got mine in the mail today , good mag Car , yes a glowing report , makes life difficult for the A3  and very miserable for focus , astra etc , lifting the bar very high for the competition .

        • AndyGF

          I heard before a Volkswagen Golf is officially released to the public, $65 billion dollars in testing and development must first be spent by Volkswagen to meet its customers approval?..

          • F1orce

            Yeah and that’s why Volkswagen and Golf both consistently are at the bottom or near the bottom of every credible survey and consumer report…

            Serves them right from what i see… 

          • Golfmother

            Thats why their sales keep rising .

          • Hung Low

            Do you really buy that marketing spin? That heavy investment into a single model would also make it almost flawless for reliability and ownership cost. VW is a brilliant business, they improve their own volume sellers from the R&D already inherited from their acquisitions of other brands. They invested heavily into their new MQB platform to tick the primary box of reducing assembly time and to allow multiple models to be kitted out on the same line with propriety drive lines across multiple brands not necessarily to produce the best chassis to satisfy their customers.
            Their motive is always profit first, after all they are a business. They anticipate a net profit of 19 billion by 2019 which makes the ROI on just the Golf investment look truly like the marketing spin that it is.

          • F1orce

            Yeah all companies are for the profit.

            But these guys at Volkswagen are very hungry for profit for some reason?..

            Profit first and customer last! That’s how it is at VW

          • AndyGF

            I do…

            And Toyota aren’t a NPO either…

          • Mick

            @AndyGF:disqus What’s Toyota got to with this?

          • Hung Low

            I don’t know why all VW lovers seem to hate Toyota so much. They are the masters of marketing.

  • Dave W

    Woohoo!! Mexican Audi!! Are we gonna get some of that?

  • Bent6brigade

    50 billion on one of the most over rated cars under Australian conditions.One tank of the wrong fuel=kaboom.But vw fans will blame. The driver,when no other cars on the road go kaboom.
    This article is a cheap publicity stunt.Let’s look at the reliability of mk6+5 golf.ha,ha,ha,ha,ha

    • Golfmother

      HAHAH special OZ conditions , whats so special about roads here, nothing you dont see in europe , more hype about tailor made OZ bombs .

  • F1orce

    To all of the above VW FANS ^^^^

    If you like VW then so be it, I don’t care.

    But it’s better to try out a wide selection of brands.

    For me, I’ve experience Volkswagen and I simply don’t like it.

    No problem.

    • AndyGF

      You called VW; profit hungry?

      Going back before 2005, except for 2009 and 2011 TMC profits were triple that of VW’s.

      And unlike the German laws governing visibility, Toyota Group (whom TMC are just one part) function like a ‘brother-hood’ than a business; informal ties, dodgy business dealings and insider trading are all rife.

      Anybody wants to spend their money fueling toyota city and their ilk be my guest… But I prefer to spend my money where I know (and can feel) the R&D that went into its development.

      • Lotte

        Agreed, I’d prefer to spend my money where I know (and can feel) the R&D that went into its development. That’s why I bought a BMW.

  • Gtr-xu1

    The Germans are clever in what ever they do.And building motor vechles is one of there strengths.But in AU your better off with a luxury German brand,or local built,korean or Japanese car.
    The segment golf is in has challengers all over the place.One of the hottest and most competitive sectors like commercials.The other Germans have rivals for golf,Opel,Bmw,Mercedes which are all more than worthy rivals.