By on June 17, 2010

When Volkswagen CFO Hans Dieter Poetsch was asked to make some forward looking statements on April 29, he was reasonably confident that Veedub could improve sales and operating profit from the 2009 level, “but that’s it.” Now suddenly, Volkswagen throw caution to the wind and says that  the company would “significantly” exceed last year’s results when 2010 is over, says Reuters. That assessment, made by a usually very cautious company, is bolstered by a forecast-beating performance in the first five months.

From January to May 2010, the Volkswagen Group sold a total of 2.94m (January to May 2009: 2.49m)units. This corresponds to growth of 18.1 percent

“The positive business development was due in particular to strong demand for Group models in key markets such as Western Europe, China and North America,” Volkswagen said. Volkswagen data bear that out.

In China, Volkswagen’s largest market, the Group delivered 777,800 (524,600 in 2009) vehicles during the period January to May, a rise of 48.2 percent. Deliveries in India doubled to 13,500 (6,600; +104.3 percent) units. Growth for the Asia-Pacific Region as a whole ran at 47.6 percent.

In the USA, the Volkswagen Group delivered 145,500 units in the first five months of 2010  (109,000 in 2009), an increase of 33.5 percent.

What gives Europe headaches makes Volkswagen adjust its books: The weak Euro. The weaker the Euro, the more money VW makes on an exported car. In Volkswagen-speak,  exchange rate effects among other factors had a positive impact on profit in the January-May period of this year. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in China. As the RMB is pegged against the $, Volkswagen’s sales in China are getting more profitable by the day as Greece and now Spain send the Euro down the drain.

The way things look now, Volkswagen most likely will not outpace the market by a big deal, and will therefore not be a threat to Toyota or GM as far as deliveries go. The weak Euro however will have a very strong effect on their books.

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14 Comments on “Volkswagen To „Significanty Exceed“ 2009...”

  • avatar

    Cue snarky all-knowing VW reliability bashing comment in three…two…one….

  • avatar

    Actually, I have a serious comment/question for Bertel related to VW reliability. The high pressure fuel pumps on the new common rail TDIs are experiencing a significant number of premature failures. Between TDIClub and websites set up to report/discuss the failures (see, at least 50-100 failures have been reported, which appears to be just the tip of the iceberg considering this engine choice has been out for less than two model years and is a relatively low-volume run.

    There are two reasons I feel the issue is worth mentioning here. #1 is that when the high pressure fuel pump (HPFP) fails, it sends metal particles throughout the fuel system, requiring complete replacement. The cost is a staggering $8000-$11000. More disturbing is that there are numerous cases of both dealers and VW corporate DENYING coverage under warranty. “Contaminated fuel” is frequently blamed, however the evidence suggests that this is a cop-out: VW never produces tests showing contaminated fuel, and anecdotally, other diesel vehicles which fuel at the same stations are not experiencing problems.

    Bertel, I would appreciate any thoughts you may have to offer on this issue. Assuming there is a design defect (which strongly appears to be the case), what are the chances VW will step up to the plate? What is the best way for owners to get their attention?

    • 0 avatar

      I cannot comment of that fuel pump, but I can tell you how to get their attention.

      # 1 : Save all those receipts from the gas station.
      # 2 : From your dealer, demand the denial of warranty coverage and the reason given, in writing.
      # 3 : Reply in writing that you do not accept their reasoning, and that you give them 2 weeks to rectify the situation. Stay factual and brief. End the letter: “If the matter is not rectified satisfactorily by …. , I see no other choice than to seek other avenues, including, but not limited to legal action, a report to the Better Business Bureau, a report to the Department of Consumer affairs, a report to the NHTSA, a report to Volkswagen of America, a report to Volkswagen HQ in Wolfsburg.” (Insert other recipients, but do nothing that could be construed as blackmail.)
      # 4 : If you receive a call, demand the communication in writing.
      # 5 : If you have not heard from the dealer withing the time given, send a short note, saying that you have not heard from them, and that you refer to your previous communication.
      # 6 : Still no reaction? Do exactly as above. Get a cheap lawyer and have a letter written to all of the above. Letters to Volkswagen should ALWAYS go to the CEO. Letters to VWoA should be directed to Stefan Jacoby, to Volkswagen HQ in Germany to Martin Winterkorn. Attach reams of documentation, including the gas station receipts. Ask them to confirm that gasoline bought from Shell, Mobile, Valeo or wherever you buy your ethyl is considered “contaminated fuel” by Volkswagen. (It may also help to write a letter to Shell, Mobile, Valeo or whoever, state that the dealer John Doe states that their gasoline is contaminated and ask for comment.)

      Sit back and wait. (Jacoby and Winterkorn will never see the letter. The letter will be sent to the customer service department, cfrom the office of the CEO. That gets them going.)

      In the rare case that this will elicit no reaction, sue.

  • avatar

    Thanks Bertel, great advice. I think that type of approach is what has achieved the best results so far. Some of the claims which were initially denied have been reversed. Others have actually been able to get their insurance to pick up the tab (comprehensive). Surprisingly, quite a few people paid out of pocket (!) and have yet to be made whole.

    Ultimately, it would be nice if VW would recall the part and/or extend the warranty… :)

  • avatar

    When the fuel system go poof, is always big money.
    I guess VW has not do enuf experimenting with these high pressure common rail before releasing them to the public.

  • avatar

    The anti VW tone on this site is curious- the black cloud of cynicism is so thick as to be palpable. I’d like to hear an intelligent remark from someone who’s actually OWNED one in the past 5 years. I’ve owned and actually driven two consecutive GTI’s- amazing cars. Actually, I’d like to see favourable reviews of almost any vehicle on this website, my theory being that most of the theorizing going on here is from armchair critics who don’t actually like or drive cars.

  • avatar

    I have to agree with Litespeed65. I feel most people that post negative remarks about VW have no clue about the car. My wife tells me that i have owned over 70 cars in my lifetime and she might be right. I have owned American, Asian & European cars. In my 60 years of driving i have had good cars and bad cars. I have tried American cars when i was young and Asian cars as my kids grew up but now i buy mostly European cars. I have bought new and used and the best deals i got were always used. I work on my own cars to keep the costs down and keep myself active. I own a 1991 VW Cabriolet that has approx 50,000 original miles and is used all year round and this car has run like a top for almost 20 years. Mostly original except for brakes, a new top 3 years ago and new tires and brakes. At least once a month i turn down offers to buy the car. Last year i bought a new VW Jetta TDI. I have approx 10,000 miles on it and it is the best car i have ever had. Solid, well built, great pick up and great mileage. Went to New Orleans this year driving approx 85 MPH and my mileage was approx 40-42 MPG. Instant starts at 10 deg F and no problems at all. The troubles some of my running buddies have with their Hondas, Toyota’s & Nissan,s sometimes gives me a laff. The bottom line is a car is a machine and parts have to be replaced sometimes. I have never seen a car that did not need attn at times.

  • avatar

    litespeed, fair enough :) A family member has an ’09 Jetta TDI. I’ve driven it a fair amount and have been very impressed. For a $20K car, the engineering and build quality appears fantastic. Fun to drive, eats up the miles, and gets excellent fuel economy to boot. I am the one who recommended the owner purchase it and she has been very pleased. Absolutely no problems in 15K miles. However, if she reaches 36K miles (warranty) and the fuel pump issue has not been resolved, will it really make sense to keep the car and face a potential $10K repair bill? That is what I am questioning.

  • avatar

    View my dismal VW experience at:

    • 0 avatar

      John, not the least to diminish your horrifying experience, but do keep in mind that you’re talking about a VR6 engine, which has been absent from the VW lineup since, I believe, 2003. So the car in question is at least seven years old. Not that it’s okay what happened to you.

      But, if we’re going to base our opinions of manufacturers on the basis of seven-year-old cars, then a lot of Toyota owners might choose to rate Toyotas as “unreliable” based on their horrifying oil sludge experiences at the same relative time.

      Much has changed…and much hasn’t…since the time your car was built.

      Incidentally, no Audi used the VR6 engine at any time.

  • avatar

    I should add, I have an 09 TDI sportwagen myself. Closing in on 17k, not one problem anywhere on this car.

    Sure, I’m concerned about the fuel pump issue, but when I bought the car a year ago I was supposed to be terrified of the DSG transmission. VW extended that warranty to 100k miles, and I predict the same approach will have to be taken with the fuel pump.

    What I despise is the snarky comments by people who think they know everything about VWs, when in fact all they know is that they hear VWs have reliability problems. There is no question that the quality and styling of VW interiors alone is beyond the standard of any of the competitors.

  • avatar

    Well, I had a 2007 GTI which was flawless that was traded in on a 2008 R32. That car had a problem with constant check engine lights and went back to the dealer seven times and was out of service over a month combined. They replaced a gas vapor purge valve (N-80) four times (a leading to an eventual recall for all 5000 US based R32) and the gas tank. The very next day after the seventh attempt at repair, the check engine light came on again, causing me to throw in the towel. Even though I could have claimed a Lemon Law case, I was sick of dealing with it and traded it in on a CPO 328i. Still, I figure VW is entitled to a bad car every now and then and now have a 2010 GTI sitting in my garage next to the BMW.

    I had a 1983 Rabbit GTI that I drove for 10 years that was pretty good for reliability. A bad alternator threw me to the side of I-40 one cold and rainy November night, but that was the only thing that really broke on the car. I fondly remember that car more than any other I have ever owned.

    One still cannot ignore that VWs are statistically more trouble-prone than most other makes. Anecdotal stories aside, the brand has been improving with the Mark V Golf/Jetta platform after a dismal experience with the Mark IV. The hope is the Mark VI continues that upward trend.

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