By on April 25, 2013

“The coming months will be anything but easy,” Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn told Reuters today at VW’s annual shareholders’ meeting. Nevertheless, he still plans to rule the world.

Except for North America and China, all other regions carry “often significant uncertainty” Winterkorn said. At home in Europe, the market  would be “extremely weak” for the foreseeable future, Volkswagen AG’s Vorstandsvorsitzender predicted.

Yesterday, Volkswagen reported a first-quarter operating profit 26 percent down to a still very respectable $3 billion. Undaunted, Volkswagen wants to match last year’s record earnings of 11.5 billion euros and set new delivery records.

“Regardless of whether we’re in an upturn or downturn, it’s our goal to ensure that VW reaches the top of the automotive industry by 2018,” Winterkorn said. We read that as the Strategie 2018 still being in place. A few months ago, works council chief Bernd Osterloh declared mission accomplished and said the company needs a new strategy.

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8 Comments on “Volkswagen Faces Tough Times, Still Plans World Dominance...”

  • avatar

    “Volkswagen Faces Tough Times, Still Plans World Dominance”

    The choice of words and how it sounds, appeals the Made in the USA side of me.
    You know what I’m talking about…..

  • avatar

    Crazy talk. You could never convince me that the Germans were planning world dominance.

    • 0 avatar

      If VW can cut in half the quality gap (real or perceived) between the Korean and Japanese cars–they will dominate the world.
      Looks, performance, interior fit and finish (ok they used to be tops–Audi still great) could take them up to the top. Bring the multilink suspension to the new Jetta and couple that with a 1.8T–who’d rather drive a Camry?

      • 0 avatar

        NeinNeinNein – you’re in luck: a Jetta GLI will net you the multilink plus the better 2.0TFSI.

        The 1.8T will replace the 2.5 this fall in the rest of the Jetta lineup.

        But agreed on the quality/reliability issue. Volkswagen, and Audi in particular, are getting much better, though.

      • 0 avatar

        You can have the multilink. We’ve got two Audi/VW multilinks in the family and their reliability is just not worth the ride/handling or turning radius tradeoff. Complexity for complexity’s sake on a car like that.

        • 0 avatar

          Are you sure the turning radius sucks? What car do you think has a better turning radius than your Audi/VW? Also, which Audi/VW — longitudinal or transverse?

          Unless you’re used to driving a Miata or Fit/Yaris-size car, or maybe a Volvo 240/740 (rare for a larger car), I’m not seeing it.

          Some of the worst turning radii re on Acuras and FWD-based Volvos. Even a huge car like an Audi Q7 probably has a better turning radius than a Volvo S60.

      • 0 avatar

        Who would rather drive a Camry? I would, because I buy my cars second hand, no warranty, no rich uncle to pay for repairs. Volkswagens are becoming like BMWs, great fun for the first owner, but Russian roulette for later owners due to the potential for complicated, expensive repairs.

        This unreliable high-tech phenomenon is spreading among European car makers. Mercedes, Audi and Volvo are affected too. The Japanese show them how reliability should be done.

  • avatar

    Are you sure it’s Winterkorn who will be ruling the world? Surely not while Ferdinand Piech or his buxom wife are alive.

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