Volkswagen celebrated today the opening of its technical center in California, part of its plan to increase US sales.
The automaker invested $27 million in this technical center, which will expand its engineering capabilities. The Test Center California is located in Oxnard, 62 miles (100 kilometers) north of Los Angeles and has 64,000 square feet (5,946 square meters). Currently the center has 50 engineers, but the company plans to add 250 more from Wolfsburg, where Audi, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Bentley are based.
“The expansion of our global R&D footprint in the U.S. reinforces our ongoing commitment to this market and will help to position us as a high quality brand here and abroad,” David Geanacopoulos, executive vice president for Volkswagen’s U.S. unit, said in the statement.
The technical center in California is part of VW’s $4 billion program to increase market share in the States and overpass competitors such as Honda, Toyota and Hyundai. From January to July VW’s sales increased 34%, helped by the auto- assembly plant opened in Tennessee in 2011 and the introduction of a new Passat sedan. Volkswagen aims at becoming the world’s largest carmaker by 2018.