By Andreas Cremer
BERLIN (Reuters) - German luxury automaker Audi plans to keep spending on new vehicles, plants and technology to increase market share as a prolonged weakening in European markets forces layoffs and factory closures at volume manufacturers.
The division of Volkswagen
Planned investments will also sustain Audi's foreign expansion as the company sets up factories in Mexico and China and makes additions to plants in Hungary and China.
"We have no plans to take the foot off the accelerator, because when the crisis is over, there will be another recovery," Chief Executive Rupert Stadler said in an interview at Audi's Ingolstadt headquarters.
Wolfsburg-based parent VW already said on November 23 it would invest 50.2 billion euros on products, plants and equipment over the next three years as it strives to replace Toyota Motor Corp. as the world's biggest auto maker by 2018 at the latest.
By stepping up investments on products and technology, VW could consolidate its lead over stricken Mediterranean peers PSA Peugeot Citroen
($1 = 0.7563 euros)
(editing by Jane Baird)