Driving to become the world's largest automaker by the end of this decade, Volkswagen AG said Friday it plans to make €50.2 billion ($64.7 billion) in strategic investments during the next three years.

It will spend some of the funds on expanding its presence outside Europe, encompassing new factories in markets such as China, Mexico, and Russia, Reuters reported.

And it will spend some of the money on products and technology to consolidate its lead over its stricken Western European peers, Reuters said.

"Despite the challenging economic environment, we are investing more than ever before to reach our long-term goals," Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn said in a statement quoted by the news agency.

Based in Wolfsburg, Germany, VW said its capital expenditure would total €39.2 billion, or 6 to 7 percent of sales, during the three-year period between 2013 and 2015, broadly in line with analyst estimates.

This means VW will invest almost as much in property, plants, and equipment over the next three years as analysts see the Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) spending on combined basis, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.

Toyota is currently the No. 1 carmaker globally.