By on October 27, 2010

Herr Winterkorn is not backing off from the ambitious Strategie 2018. In eight years, Volkswagen wants to be the king of the hill, in all disciplines from making the most cars on earth to making the most money, from having the most satisfied customers to having the most brilliant ideas. Haughty hubris, you say? Winterkorn disagrees with you. “We are well-positioned to achieve the goals laid down in our Strategy 2018″, said Winterkorn as he presented the nine month interim report of Volkswagen today.

First things first: Winterkorn confirms our previous report of €4b ($5.57b) after tax profit. Operating profit in the first nine months was €4.8b ($6.6b), and that didn’t include the €1.3b ($1.79b) they made in China and that are captured using the equity method. Interestingly, VW now inherited a hedge fund from Porsche: “In addition, the financial result includes positive effects of €863 million from the measurement of the put/call rights relating to Porsche Zwischenholding GmbH at the reporting date,” says a release by Volkswagen.

Otherwise, everything up a bit: Vehicles deliveries rose by 12.9 percent to 5.4 million (January – September 2009: 4.8 million). Volkswagen’s global market share inched up to 11.6 percent from 11.5 percent in the same period of the prior year. Sales of “almost all Volkswagen Group brands” are up also. We won’t bore you with the details. Since all brands reported are up, we looked for the missing ones. Bugatti and Lamborghini are AWOL. We can only assume.

Anyway, Winterkorn says that “the Volkswagen Group continues to have its sights firmly set on capturing pole position in the automotive industry.” Oh, well. Jack Baruth will have to explain to you that the polesitter is not necessarily the winner.

Or is Winterkorn backing off a bit? They are “well positioned.” They have their “sights firmly set” on the pole position. Anybody can say that.

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10 Comments on “Winterkorn Wants Pole Position...”


  • avatar
    ALB-MAN

    Volkswagen should minimize, not expand. If they expand too much, future cars will lack quality, have poor styling, and have little attention to detail.
    Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the 2011 Jetta.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    I’ve always liked the VW product (two Audis and two VWs, now driving a Passat).  But I wonder about the main brand’s US strategy.  Audi seems on a roll, but the latest VW designs are a step back.  The new Passat looks average in photos (probably looks better in real life, but we’ll never know here in the US), and  the bread and butter Jetta is now definitely day-old white bread with generic margarine.  Can we expect very much from the NMS?  In their quest for volume, I wonder how they’ll fix a general perception of hit and miss quality?  In the past VW could count on style and a fun to drive factor.  But now that appears to be on the way out.
     
     

  • avatar
    Abraxas


    VW ‘can do almost anything’ with its huge war chest (

    http://europe.autonews.com/article/20101026/BLOG09/310269910/1317 ) .

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      money doesn’t buy them more reliable and cheaper to fix cars.

    • 0 avatar
      ash78

      @HerrKaLeun
       
      No, but US-only models (and production) should help a lot.
       
      On the flipside, there will undoubtedly be a backlash against the lower content and value of these cars.
       
      VW is trying to go from “the company who wins the comparison tests, but has 5% market share” to “the company who performs in the middle of the comparison tests, but has 10% market share” (even thought their goals are much loftier).
       
      This will not end well.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    The new Jetta isn’t the way to their goal of world domination, nor is re-introducing the Phaeton.  They’re crazy.

  • avatar
    kenwood

    Is the author trying to subliminally say to us that Winterkorn has a pole stuck up his arse?

  • avatar
    dougjp

    VW only thinks its decontenting game and insulting North American’s intelligence will increase sales. Time to prove him wrong. Existing customers like myself refusing to visit a VW showroom again won’t help his ‘germanic’ causes.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      Oh I don’t know. North Americans have eagerly accepted the decontented cars, both from North American  and Japanese manufacturers. Witness the now stellar sales performance of Hyundai. They’ve always offered more ‘stuff’ in each car, now that they have the mechanical/durablity side of things wrapped up, they’re making big inroads. If they start to de-content in 5 to 10 years, you’ll see a lot of dissatisfaction with the brand. I believe we’re seeing this with the Japanese brands right now, folks see they can get more from Hyundai and are getting out of Toyota’s to get into Hyundai’s. It’s not the conspiracy of the US Government to boost GM sales, it’s the conspiracy of Hyundai to take market share from anyone in the US market.
      If VW thinks they can get away with de-contented cars in this environment, more power to them.


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