When it comes to spending money, Volkswagen, as the No Fear shirts used to say, "Ain't skeered." Europe is reportedly headed for a 17-year low in annual car sales, VW share is down 0.6 percent on The Continent and manufacturing overcapacity is estimated to be around 30 percent industry-wide. That is making the ability to accurately predict Europe's future less easy by the day, so VW's solution is to shorten the timeline and spend more money. Last year the German company said it would invest $83.2 billion in the five years from 2012 to 2016; both Reuters and Bloomberg now report that the group will invest $64.7 billion in the three years from 2013 to 2015.

Last year's plan was to spend $16.7 billion per year, this year's plan means spending $21.7 billion per year. Barring a new announcement, that amount would equal the three-year investment that analysts expect from Toyota and General Motors, combined. Those other two companies also happen to be the ones above Volkswagen on the global sales chart, which the company's Strategy 2018 wants to change. The amounts don't include VW's intention to spend $12.7 billion on its joint ventures in China.

Reuters says that $13.7 billion will be put toward new models and "the design of alternative drives," and that two-thirds of the total will go toward making more efficient, green cars. Bloomberg puts that new-model development number at $32 billion, which includes a new line of trucks for MAN, and says there will be "40 models based on the same framework" as the MkVII Golf alone spread throughout the empire. No matter which way you slice it, it's a lot of money, and all of a sudden items like the Volkswagen XL1, a 1.0-liter Audi city car, a Q8 crossover and an R10 diesel hybrid supercar don't sound so outrageous.


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  • 24 Comments
      Quest
      • 2 Years Ago
      In a business and engineering perspective VAG is firing on all cylinders. No one is executing to the degree of VW. The business is solidly run financially, product engineering and marketing. Piss on 'em as some may want the facts speak for themselves. If you take pickup trucks away from Ford and GM in North America their market share drops to a little over 10% each in their home market. Of the domestics Ford is far and away the better run financially while GM is still a "?"
      kuntknife
      • 2 Years Ago
      For us gearheads, being #1 in sales/income is such a stupid goal. It impresses your shareholders while screwing the passionate customers. When you get to #1, it's seen as a downfall when another company beats you. You do everything to stay in the position, which generally degrades to making ho-hum cars that score a 7.5 in all caterogires. You can't afford to take a risk on something that may get polar reactions. I'd rather create something that's completely adored by some and absolutely hated by others than to create something that everyone agrees is "pretty good", and then blends in with the rest of the "pretty good" things.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      EJD1984
      • 2 Years Ago
      Number One in sales, doesn't necessarily equate to Number One in Quality Cars.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      mikeybyte1
      • 2 Years Ago
      I had a 2000 Passat. It was incredibly unreliable. Which was very disappointing because it was a beautiful vehicle and a joy to drive. I simply had too many failures - some big - in the first 3 years. Although all were covered under warranty, the constant trips to the dealer soured the ownership experience. I bought a new car to avoid frequent repairs. Hopefully they have improved. When I look at various dependability studies they seem to be on the rise. But I am not quite ready to trust them yet. I avoid Audi for the same reason. As they expand and grow they need to keep an eye on quality and reliability.
      drbyers
      • 2 Years Ago
      What BlackDynamite and Mikey below me said. lol. My monster-in-law had a similar Passat horror story with electrical and transmission gremlins that made my father-in-law curse (and he's a church deacon). lol I'd seriously consider buying a GTI or Jetta TDI, but VW quality is just so unreliable it's never gonna happen for me. Too bad, because I've wanted a GTI/Scirocco since high school.
      djrroar1
      • 2 Years Ago
      I know that Kia and Hyundia were all on the top of the quality list for years and that is why they are doing so well today, Ford also. Give me a break, VW has already made strides in quality and will continue to do so. Talking about a 2000 Passatt being of poor quality and not ever buying the brand again is like talking about never owning another Accord or Camry because they rust!!!
        AnalogJesse
        • 2 Years Ago
        @djrroar1
        "Talking about a 2000 Passatt being of poor quality and not ever buying the brand again is like talking about never owning another Accord or Camry because they rust!!!" Not really. When I give my money to a company and they don't deliver (like with my 2005 GLI), I won't give them my money again. They broke my trust. I don't care if they CLAIM to be building better cars now. I'll instead give my money to car companies who actually PROVE it.
      DooMMasteR
      • 2 Years Ago
      nope, VW is investing faster to keep the wins low… which keeps taxes low and thus maximize the effective income
      DooMMasteR
      • 2 Years Ago
      VW keeps the wins down, which keeps taxes down which helps to keep the effective income at a maximum… simple economics… nothing to see here they are buying windmills… PV-Plants and other energy stuff…
      Rich
      • 2 Years Ago
      Do what BMW did and slash your employees salaries by 20%... that'll gain some capitol.
        Donny Hoover
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rich
        And watch all your talented employees leave for better paying positions while the crappy ones stay on.
          Brodz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Donny Hoover
          Oh you mean all those jobs that are available in other European car factories? Oh wait....
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