BMW and Audi logos

It's no secret that VW Group, parent company to not only Volkswagen but also Audi, Bugatti, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche and Ducati brands sold in the US, is determined to become the world's largest automaker. Even more impressive is that VW is prepared to spend billions to make it happen.

With that comes word that VW Group will be spending $17 billion on its Audi brand over the next three years to push itself above rival BMW. The money will be invested in both vehicle development (including lightweight auto design and alternative powertrains) and facilities (including expansion in Hungary, China and new operations in Mexico). The luxury brand is focused on global manufacturing infrastructure.

Already Europe's best-selling luxury brand, Audi's objective is to overtake BMW by the end of the decade by selling more than two million cars per year (BMW is shooting for 1.54 million sales in 2013). If those objectives are met, VW Group should be on track to be the industry's volume leader by 2018.