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VW unit Skoda plan huge rise in China production

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VW unit Skoda plan huge rise in China production

November 18, 2010 11:31 CET

PRAGUE (Reuters) -- Skoda wants to produce 500,000 cars in China in the future, CEO Winfried Vahland was quoted on Thursday as saying in the weekly newsletter of Skoda unions.

A Skoda spokesman declined to comment on the timeframe of the target. The Volkswagen AG Czech subsidiary produced 131,779 cars in China in 2009. Skoda is on pace for record sales this year, selling 568,990 vehicles in the first nine months, led by a 65 percent jump in China.

Skoda expects to double its new-car sales to "at least" 1.5 million in 2020, driven by growth in China, India and Russia, Vahland said earlier this month.

Larger volumes at the Skoda will play an important role in helping VW reach its target of 10 million annual sales by 2018, at which time it hopes to topple Toyota Motor Corp. as the No. 1 global automaker.

As part of a 10-year international growth plan, Skoda sales outside Europe will increase to make up half of the brand's volume from 30 percent today. Skoda calls the plan RS after the Czech words rust and strategie, which translate into "growth strategy." The brand also uses the initials RS for the range-topping versions of its cars.

Skoda sales rose 1.4 percent to 684,226 last year. This year's volume is expected to reach 750,000. In China alone, the Czech brand's sales grew 65 percent in the first nine months after more than doubling to 122,556 units in 2009.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101118/ANE/311189958/1131#ixzz15eNUGl9I

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