Bloomberg News

U.S. Less Attractive for Investment, Volkswagen’s Browning Says

October 01, 2012

The U.S. needs to address rising debt and reduce political discord if it wants further investment from foreign companies such as Volkswagen AG (VOW), the top U.S. executive for Europe’s biggest carmaker said.

“This country needs to get its house in order,” Jonathan Browning, VW’s U.S. chief executive officer, said today in a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “It needs to restore global confidence in the workings of its political system.”

Browning cited the decision to select Mexico as the location for the first North American plant for Audi, the company’s luxury brand, as an example of the U.S. losing to increasing global competition for foreign direct investment. It doesn’t make sense for an auto company to build a plant in the U.S. if it plans to export vehicles made there, he said.

Competition from India and China, where Volkswagen has 12 production plants and plans at least three more, is catching up and the U.S. should pay attention, Browning said. Volkswagen, based in Wolfsburg, Germany, has its U.S. headquarters in Herndon, Virginia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Angela Greiling Keane in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at

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