Ford Leading Volkswagen In Profits? Who Are You Kidding?

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
ford leading volkswagen in profits who are you kidding

Who will be the world’s most profitable carmaker this year? Canada’s CTV thinks that “this is going to be an interesting race. Will it be a big, multi-brand automaker from Germany, or a big, mostly one-brand automaker from the United States?” Both have a blue logo. One round, one egg-shaped. It’s Volkswagen against Ford.

Says CTV:

“Right now Ford is in the lead.

On Tuesday, Ford said it earned $2.6 billion in the first quarter (all figures in U.S. dollars). Today, VW said first-quarter profit more than tripled thanks to the success of the VW and Audi brands in China. Bloomberg reported that VW Group net income increased to 1.71 billion euros or $2.51 billion from 473 million euros a year earlier.”

So far, so good. However, says the CTV, “ultimately, the race to become the world’s most profitable car company could be won or lost” in China. This is a country where Ford, according to CTV, “essentially has no presence in China at all.”

Not true. Ford has some presence in China, but it is nothing to write home about, and especially nothing to convert into huge profits.

Then, while talking about China at great length, the CTV overlooks the crucial item in Volkswagen’s books: The Chinese profits. The 1.71 billion euros or $2.51 billion Volkswagen made in the first quarter do not include “the €557 million share of the operating result accounted for by the Chinese joint ventures.” That’s another $816 million, whereas Ford stays mum about the size of the profits at its “unconsolidated China joint ventures.”

Ford’s first quarter gross revenue was $33.1 billion on sales of 1.4 million units. VW’s gross revenue was €37.5 billion ($ 55 billion) on sales of 1.99 million units. If the race for the most profitable carmaker would end here, it would be won by the guys from Wolfsburg.

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2 of 34 comments
  • Rpol35 Rpol35 on Apr 28, 2011

    So what!

  • Luke42 Luke42 on Apr 28, 2011

    If the number of 01M 4-speed automatic transmissions that my Jetta TDI chewed up (5) are any indication, those profits are coming from parts sales.... I loved driving that car, when it ran...! :-)

  • Jdt65724922 How can a Chrysler E-Class ride better than a Chrysler Fifth Avenue?
  • Lorenzo This series is epic, but I now fear you'll never get to the gigantic Falcon/Dart/Nova comparison.
  • Chris P Bacon Ford and GM have decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Odds are Chrysler/Cerberus/FCA/Stellantis is next to join in. If any of the companies like Electrify America had been even close to Tesla in reliability, we wouldn't be here.
  • Inside Looking Out China will decide which EV charging protocol will become world wide standard.
  • Chris P Bacon I see no reference to Sweden or South Carolina. I hate to assume, but is this thing built in China? I can't help but wonder if EVs would be more affordable to the masses if they weren't all stuffed full of horsepower most drivers will never use. How much could the price be reduced if it had, say, 200hp. Combined with the instant torque of an EV, that really is plenty of power for the daily commuter, which is what this vehicle really is.