Volkswagen to open seven China factories

Volkswagen is planning to open seven more factories in China, chief executive Martin Winterkorn says.

"In the coming years, we will build at least 10 new factories, seven of those in China alone," he told reporters as the European auto giant released its annual earnings statement.

From 2016, VW expects to churn out up to 300,000 vehicles per year in these Chinese factories, taking advantage of the world's fastest growing car market.

The news came as VW confirmed record net profits for 2012 and voiced optimism for next year.

Last year, VW registered a record net profit of 21.7 billion euros ($28.11 billion), a gain of nearly 41 percent compared with the previous period.

Overall turnover roared ahead by 21 percent to 192.7 billion euros.

"We continued our successful course and further strengthened our market position thanks to our high profitability," CFO Hans Dieter Pötsch said in a statement. "Our growing presence in all key markets, our outstanding brand portfolio, our attractive product range and our broad financial services offering combined with our sound finances and forward-looking management are contributing to the systematic implementation of our Strategy 2018."

"Volkswagen has everything it needs to continue its successful trajectory of recent years even under different circumstances," said Winterkorn, adding: "We want to lead the Volkswagen Group to the top of the automotive industry by 2018 – profitably, sustainably and permanently."

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