Life ain't easy at the top. And, if you're Volkswagen, struggling to shove past both Toyota and General Motors on your way to becoming the world's largest automaker, it's not cheap, either. Says Martin Winterkorn, CEO of the gigantic conglomerate:

The Volkswagen Group is investing a record amount in forward-looking projects to achieve its goal of becoming the world's best automobile manufacturer... Top of the agenda for us are investments in environmentally friendly, sustainable models and drives.

Just what does "a record amount" equate to? A whopping $86.4 billion dollars (62.4 billion euros). And that doesn't include Volkswagen's two Chinese ventures, which will tack on an additional $19.1 billion (14 billion euros).

VW reckons that money ought to be enough to fund a five-percent sales increase globally in 2011 over 2010's record sum of 7.2 million vehicles, with plenty more expansion over the next five years.


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  • 75 Comments
      Alex
      • 3 Years Ago
      Let's hope some of that money goes towards a better Jetta and cheaper Golf in North America.
        icharlie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Alex
        I doubt that it will.... This formula for cheaper cars has been winning for Vw. This year alone they almost sold twice as many jetta vs best selling mk5 year. To them for the bulk of sales, they have proven that the average person shopping for a jetta doesn't care about quality. They just want a low price and reliability. As much as it pains me to admit it, VW did right by the jetta from a business standpoint. However, the Vw Enthusiast in me is still very disappointed.
      ilovepartygirls
      • 3 Years Ago
      damn. that's a lot of cheddar
      4 String
      • 3 Years Ago
      $86 billion and a spartan interior... Aside from large margins/profits, it kinda makes you wonder -_-x
      EB110Americana
      • 3 Years Ago
      VW should put all of that money into durability testing and development...then they should publicize the many grueling hours of hard torture that parts are required to stand up to in order to meet their new durability standard. Back that up with a world-class warranty like Hyundai/Kia or GM and then they might really have something. I'd like to see some high mileage VWs owned by everyday people which represent the brand (not a bunch of enthusiast preserved vintage Beetles and tuner Golfs) much the way Ford and Chevy tout their aged workhorse pickups. This would really make the difference they need at VW, at least in my eyes.
      • 3 Years Ago
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        Trevor
        • 3 Years Ago
        XC90 is midsize moron......... Also what would you call the touareg?........ & doesn't VW own a little company by the name of audi that makes the Q7.
        icharlie
        • 3 Years Ago
        You mean that aged old 9 year old design? Volvo definitely needs some fresh models if it wants to comete... Besides the S60 and XC60, everything else is very dated in design....
      4540flossy
      • 3 Years Ago
      At least Toyotas are reliable and well-made with excellent after-care; Toyota brands always fare well in customer satisfaction surveys. VWs are neither reliable nor well-made (how their reputation remains intact is a complete mystery) and VAG group products generally (with the notable exception of Skoda in Europe) do pretty badly in JD Power surveys et al. They won't be the biggest and certainly not the best until they nail quality and customer satisfaction and with companies like Hyundai/Kia giving them a real real run for their money, they need to watch their back!
        Juffinstuff
        • 3 Years Ago
        @4540flossy
        Link to research, please?
        Jason Allen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @4540flossy
        I might get killed for this but even consumer reports tells folks about VW's unsatisfactory history, mainly electrical issues in Audi and VW models past their 3rd year.
      kontroll
      • 3 Years Ago
      "The Volkswagen Group is investing a record amount in forward-looking projects to achieve its goal of becoming the world's best automobile manufacturer... " These billions are not for being the "BEST" , you earn the "BEST" title, nobody can buy it!! And as we already know from our asian friend toyota, being the biggest does not equal being the best. VW already has a less than perfect reputation, and with their aspirations to be the biggest they may really slide even further down the reliability list eventually endangering even a mediocre size status. They better be careful with their idiotic outdated "lebensraum" theories.
        carfan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @kontroll
        I just gave you the TU for a very logical comment. Toyota even though had a good reputation in the past is way down on numerous surveys relative to reputation and reliability. If ever/even achieving their dreams of becoming the biggest VW' doesn't even start at the top of the reputation scale, they start from feable to mediocre, so their case will be a lot more dramatic than toyota's when quality will suffer further. VW may not survive their own ambitions!!!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @kontroll
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          styxmiko
          • 3 Years Ago
          what do you mean "the world says no to american cars" look at europe, opel's share is about 15% of the market (no,no don't start with the BS that opel is german ,no, Opel is Gm and GM is American), Ford practically dominates Europe, china's favourite luxury sedan is the Buick, Chevy Cruze is the best seller in the small car segment. First i though you were just joking but the more I read your comments the more I realized that you are serious...only an abnormal person like you can say such a thing. I know that you are a proud german and defend your MB and BMW( so would I if i were a German, but fortunately and thank GOD I'M NOT GERMAN,), however if you are a car enthousiast you would know that both MB and BMWe ranked BELOW average, even wayyyyy below Chevy in customer satisfaction and reliablilty. So being a stupidly proud kraut will not make BMW or the other a better car.
        Mchicha
        • 3 Years Ago
        @kontroll
        Shut up and buy all their Jetta based vehicles from Audi to Seat and everything in between
      Não Pirilamparás
      • 3 Years Ago
      Gotta give them credit… they're one of the largest makers of snoozemobiles, yet they're near the top.
      hawaiian_I
      • 3 Years Ago
      Will the cars be as reliable as Toyota's?
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