West Germany: To Prevent Slipping, Keep Going

Though the success of West Germany's Volkswagen has been one of postwar Europe's most glittering economic achievements, aggressive Chairman Heinz Nordhoff, 64, feels that a moment of relaxation by his company could be fatal. "What an auto company loses in the market today," says Nordhoff, "it probably can't recover in the next 50 years." To keep Volkswagen from slipping—it is now the world's third biggest automaker, after General Motors and Ford—Nordhoff plans to spend $375-500 million on expansion in the next five years, lift Volkswagen's annual capacity to 1,500,800 autos and minibuses. At its Wolfsburg headquarters, Volkswagen is building...

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