VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn has said that he expects the group to break through the 6m unit barrier and produce more cars this year than ever before.

Winterkorn told the German news magazine Focus that the reason for the high rate of production (up from 5.7m units last year) is improved productivity. He said the aim is to improve productivity by 10% a year, and that figure will be reached this year.

Winterkorn also said that Volkswagen may build a plant in the US. “If the dollar exchange rate remains at its current level, we have to consider a plant in North America to be highly probable.”

The company previously operated a plant in Pennsylvania from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s.

Whatever happens, VW does need another management centre in the US, “to get closer to customers”, Winterkorn said.

Volkswagen has lost a lot of money in the US over the last few years. The group recently appointed a new chief executive of its North American vehicle operations. Stefan Jacoby (49) is described as a ‘trouble shooter’, who is currently executive vice president for global marketing and sales for the VW group.

“In America we are in the process of getting where we want to be. That has been an open flank of the company up until now,” said Winterkorn.