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.