VW to raise Chinese capacity to more than 4m cars

Volkswagen will expand carmaking in China more than planned as the German manufacturer tries to keep pace with growth in its largest market.
Volkswagen will raise its Chinese plant capacity to more than the previously targeted 4 million autos a year by 2018, Jochem Heizmann, head of the carmaker’s business in the country, told reporters Tuesday. That compares with capacity there of more than 3.1 million vehicles in 2013.
The carmaker’s sales growth in China has slowed in recent months because it hasn’t been able to manufacture enough vehicles, Heizmann said at the press briefing in the southern city of Guangzhou. Volkswagen is the top foreign automaker in China, and it builds cars in the country for its main VW brand and the Audi and Skoda marques with local partners FAW Car Co. and SAIC Motor Corp.
“It’s really a topic of having no more capacity available,” he said. Volkswagen’s Chinese plants “are at present producing on more than 300 days per year. We’re producing every weekend as well.”
China is a crucial part of Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen’s plan to surpass Toyota as the world’s largest auto manufacturer by 2018. The German company is poised to retain its top sales rank in China this year with deliveries forecast at more than 3.6 million vehicles, about a 10 percent gain.
The company is preparing for the opening of plants in cities such as Changsha, Heizmann said. It started construction of a factory in Qingdao, in eastern China, earlier this month. Bloomberg

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