Volkswagen is planning to invest around 51.6 billion euros in its automotive division over the next five years. More than half of this investment will be in Germany, with primary spending to be on property, plants and equipment, it said in a statement.

It’s no secret that the VW is aiming at surpassing Toyota as the top carmaker globally by 2018, and as such, the Strategy 2018 programme it has set out will see the company investing around 27.7 billion euros to modernise and extend the product range of all its brands, these being VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat, Bentley, Porsche and Lamborghini.

The focus will of course be on new vehicles, derivatives and replacement models in all product classes, and the aim is to achieve a systematic model rollout with a view to tapping new markets and segments. This will be supplemented with the launching of new generations of engines with enhanced performance, fuel consumption and emission levels. In particular, it will drive forward the development of hybrid and electric motors.

Additionally, a 13.6 billion euro has been set aside for cross-product investments over the next five years. The company’s new assembly plant in the US – in Chattanooga, Tennessee – will begin operating in 2011, and production capacity in Russia is also being increased. It has also announced plans to open two more plants in China.