Auto Industry

Volkswagen to invest over $34 billion around the world

More than 60% of the €22.8 billion investment allotted to German plants

VW also showed its I.D. Buzz all-electric minibus concept, based on the I.D. bus concept shown last September in Paris. It will have a range of 270 miles, or 450 km, and 10 laser scanners will let it be driven either manually or autonomously. It's still just a concept, but the future's arriving faster than anyone expected.

Volkswagen has announced a €22.8 billion (about $34.2 billion Canadian) investment in its production facilities worldwide between 2018 and 2022, as it speeds ahead with its Transform 2025 strategy.

“The investment package which has now been adopted will give a decisive boost to the largest product and technology offensive in the history of the brand,” said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen brand. “It is our objective to position Volkswagen sustainably in the lead in the volume segments and to take up a leading position in e-mobility.”

Most of the investment will stay in Germany, with €14 billion (roughly $21 billion) allotted to facilities in Zwickau, Wolfsburg, Kassel, Emden and Braunschweig.

Zwickau will receive about €1 billion (about $1.5 billion) as it makes the transition to a pure e-mobility facility, concentrating on series production of electric vehicles (EVs) based on the company’s new modular electric drive platform (MEB), which will accommodate vehicles ranging from sub-compacts to 7-seat utilities, reportedly offer EV ranges from 400 to 600 km with rapid charging capabilities, and carry a supposed price of a comparable diesel-engined offering.

The first MEB-based product, the I.D., will launch in 2020 in Europe, China and North America (all at the same time). Initial annual is pegged at 100,000 vehicles, with Volkswagen aiming to produce one million EVs in 2025.

To make room at Zwickau for MEB production, Volkswagen is consolidating Golf production in Wolfsburg, which will receive €2.9 billion (about $4.35 billion), and moving Passat production to Emden, for an investment of about €1.1 billion (roughly $1.65 billion). Components plants will receive some investment — Kassel will receive about €1.5 billion (about $2.25 billion), Emden €800 million ($1.2 billion) and Braunschweig €750 million ($1.13 billion).

Other plants around the world (such as Bratislava, Slovakia; Palmela, Portugal; and Pamplona, Spain) will receive investment to prepare for production of vehicles based on Volkswagen’s MQB platform (front-engine; front- or all-wheel drive), as well as those producing sport utility vehicles in Mexico, Russia, South America and the USA.

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