Volkswagen to invest $7 billion in North America in 5 years

Luxury car manufacturer Volkswagen AG has announced its decision to invest $7 billion in North America over a period of next five years, a move that basically aims at boosting the company's growth in the region.

Martin Winterkorn, chief executive officer of Volkswagen, announced that the company intended to use the money to set up a new manufacturing facility in the region. However, a location for the new facility has yet to be selected.

Mr. Winterkorn said the United States was a cornerstone of the company's 2018 strategy, adding that a part of the investment would go toward producing a midsize sports utility vehicle (SUV).

Announcing the investment plans, Mr. Winterkorn said, "As a group, we will be investing over $7bn in North America over the next five years. The U. S. is a cornerstone of our 2018 strategy."

About the planned SUV, he said the company really needed a midsize SUV to compete better with rivals like General Motors, Ford and Toyota. The company aims to launch the SUV in the United Sates sometime in 2016.

Mr. Winterkorn also reiterated the company's aim of selling at least one million units of Volkswagens and luxury brand Audis in the United States by 2018.

The German car maker's Audi's sales jumped 13.5 per cent in the United States in 2013 from the previous year, while Porsche and Bentley sales jumped 21 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively.