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Volkswagen to invest a further $1.8 billion in Brazil in next five years

Volkswagen's factory is seen in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paulo state

SAO PAULO (Reuters) -German carmaker Volkswagen said on Thursday it will invest an additional 9 billion reais ($1.83 billion) in its Brazilian business over the next five years and launch 16 new models, including hybrid and electric vehicles.

The new investments would more than double Volkswagen's 2022-2028 Brazil investment plan to 16 billion reais and enable it to produce four more models than previously planned, including its first Brazil-made hybrids, a 100% electric model and a pick-up truck.

"Volkswagen is reaffirming its confidence in Brazil and more than doubling its investments," the company's Brazil Chief Executive Ciro Possobom said in a statement.

The newly planned pick-up truck will be produced in Parana state while the three other additional models and a new hybrid engine will be made at factories around Sao Paulo state, the company said. It will also develop an advanced driver assistance system intended to boost vehicle safety.

Volkswagen said it expanded its Brazilian market share in 2023 by just over 2 percentage points to 15.8%, selling more than 345,000 units throughout the year.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is expected to visit a factory in Sao Paulo state for an event on Friday.

($1 = 4.9163 reais)

(Reporting by Andre Romani; Additional reporting by Patricia Vilas Boas; Editing by Sarah Morland and Edmund Klamann)