German carmaker Volkswagen will spend US$5.83 billion in China over the next two years as it ramps up production in order to meet rising demand, the Wall Street Journal reported. Winfried Vahland, president of Volkswagen’s China operations, said the company would likely see “clear double-digit growth” in 2009 and was ahead of schedule to reach its target of doubling sales to 2 million vehicles by 2018. Volkswagen’s sales in China came to 652,436 vehicles in the first half of 2009, up 23% year-on-year. The company sold 633,091 vehicles in Germany over the same period. Auto sales in China as a whole increased by 29% to 8.33 million units between January and August, with passenger vehicle sales rising 37% to 6.23 million units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Sales have been helped by Beijing halving the purchase tax on small-engine vehicles.