VW Increases Headcount to 600,000 by 2018 image

VW plans to increase its global headcount from 550,000 to 600,000 by 2018, part of its plan to become the world’s largest automaker.

“Volkswagen is growing, and is therefore continuing to hire in production,” said works council chief Bernd Osterloh.

In 2012 VW sold 9.1 million units and plans to surpass Toyota and become the world’s top-selling carmaker by 2018. The German automaker relies on growth in other markets to make up for the losses in Europe and it aims at almost doubling production capacity in the Chinese market in the following five years. Currently, more than half of VW’s employees are based in other markets outside Germany.

Last month VW announce it will invest 9.8 billion euro to expand in the Chinese market in the following three years. According to VW, part of the money will be used to build a new plant, which will be located in Hunan’s capital of Changsha, and the rest of the investment will be used to boost marketing and R&D work for new energy vehicles. VW predicts that by 2018 its annual production capacity in the Asian country will reach 4 million units.

“VW’s future is increasingly being decided in China, Russia, India, the Americas and Southeast Asia,” CEO Martin Winterkorn said. “The relative importance of the markets is shifting.”