VW to build 4 million vehicles in China image

Volkswagen Ag, Europe’s largest carmaker plans to nearly double its production in China in the next few years, Jochem Heizmann, the new head of the group in China said.

By 2018 we will raise our production capacity in the country to 4 million vehicles,” Jochem Heizmann told German weekly magazine Focus.

China is Volkswagen’s biggest sales region and has been a driver for the company’s sales volume and profit in recent quarters.

Last month VW said it will invest about 170 million euros ($225 million) building a new plant in Urumqi, western China, capable of making 50,000 vehicles annually starting 2015.

The Chinese investment will be VW’s seventh plant in China and will underpin its market-leading position in the world’s biggest car market. VW plans to invest USD19 billion in new plants and products in China by 2016. The Urumqi plant will be VW’s fifth car factory in China where it operates 11-vehicle assembly and component plants with JV partners SAIC and FAW.

The group delivered some 2.3 million vehicles in the China region in the 2011 fiscal year and reported a pro rata operating profit there of 2.6 billion euros ($3.4 billion), it said at the time.