VW to launch production of electric utility vehicle in Poland

Volkswagen will manufature its new electric utility in Poland

German carmaker Volkswagen will manufacture its new e-Crafter electric utility vehicles at a factory in neighbouring Poland, a spokesman for the group said Thursday.

"At this stage of the project, the design of the vehicle will be finalised in Hanover (Germany). In the next stage, production will be transferred to a new factory in Wrzesnia," western Poland, VW spokeswoman Dagmara Prystacka said, quoted by the Polish PAP news agency.

She declined to provide further details.

Volkswagen has said it would deliver the first new electric vehicles to clients later this year.

Like its existing fossil fuel models, VW says its new electric-powered utility vehicle will be able to travel more than 200 kilometres (124 miles) and can carry a load of 1.7 tonnes.

Volkswagen began construction on its new plant in Wrzesnia in 2014, an investment estimated to be worth around 800 millions euros ($869 million).

Net profit at VW reached 5.1 billion euros in 2016, as the German automaker became the biggest brand in car sales in volume terms, overtaking Japan's Toyota.

The recovery came after a stinging 1.6-billion-euro loss in 2015 triggered by the Dieselgate scandal which forced VW to admit it had installed so-called "cheat" software in 11 million diesel-engine cars worldwide.

VW now says it aims to become the world leader in electric cars by 2025.