By Nat Shirley
Thursday, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 2:26 pm
Audi has announced plans for a sizable investment as part of its goal to overtake BMW and become the best-selling luxury automaker by the end of the decade.

The four-ring brand will spend $17 billion through 2016 to support the development of new products and technologies. Much of the funding will also go towards factories, with $10.6 billion budgeted to improve plants in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, Germany.

Additionally, Audi intends to complete a new plant in Foshan, China - its second facility in the country - and expand an existing factory in GyĹ'r, Hungary with a new body-manufacturing shop, a paint shop and a press shop . To increase its North American production capacity, the automaker is constructing a plant in JosĂ© Chiapa, Mexico that will build the next-generation Q5 crossover.

"We will keep investing large sums to pursue our growth strategy," Chief Financial Officer Axel Strotbek said in a statement, adding that Audi intends on spending more than $2.5 billion each year on product development.

Audi has high hopes that its investments will help it achieve two million annual sales and the title of the world's highest-volume premium brand by 2020, but for time being the automaker is playing second fiddle to BMW in the global sales race. Through November, Audi's worldwide volume for 2012 totaled 1,344,750 units, while BMW tallied 1,388,274 sales during the same period.

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