FRANKFURT Germany's Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) plans to launch a family of low cost budget cars in China and possibly elsewhere starting in 2018, its chief executive said in a newspaper interview on Sunday.
"We will bring a budget-car family to market in 2018, with an SUV, saloon and hatchback," Martin Winterkorn told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
Europe's largest automaker had for years been pondering a budget car but difficulties in hitting internal cost targets had thwarted approval of the project.
The vehicles - to be built in China - will cost between 8,000 euros ($8,932.00) and 11,000 euros, Winterkorn said.
Previously, the company targeted a price of between about 6,000 and 8,000 euros for its budget car.
"We will see if this is something of interest for other markets as well," Winterkorn said.
The budget car is seen as important for VW's future plans, particularly in Southeast Asia.
(Reporting by Jonathan Gould, writing by William Hardy)