VW Nears Profit Target a Year Early - Mulls US Factory

31 July 2007

WOLFSBURG, Germany: Volkswagen, the planet's fourth largest carmaker after General Motors, Toyota and Ford, announced a 37% leap in quarterly earnings, reflecting robust growth across its brand range and in all global regions.

Cfo Hans Dieter Potsch said the company expects a full year pre-tax profit of at least €5.1 billion ($6.96bn; £3.43bn), a target previously set for 2008. Fearing, perhaps, the markets might infer that VW will rest on its laurels, Potsch reassured: "We clearly want to improve further in 2008."

In addition to signalling the success of VW's cost-cutting programme, analysts also note that global vehicle deliveries to customers in the first half rose 7.8% to 3.1 million.

Moreover, even in torpid west European markets, where several of its competitors are flailing, VW brands are selling like hot-cakes. Opines UBS London haruspex Max Warburton: "The European public are ready to buy [VW's] cars."

The set-up of a manufacturing plant stateside is also under consideration, confirms the new head of VW's US business Stefan Jacoby. The putative move is driven by the current weakness of the US dollar and its emasculating effect on the value of VW's north American sales.

  • Porsche 'Ready' to Increase Stake in VW
    Compatriot sports car manufacturer Porsche - the world's most profitable carmaker - is ready to up its present 30.9% stake in VW, according to the former's cfo Holger Härter.

    Speaking to FT Deutschland, Härter said that Porsche is ready "for anything". He added: "We have ensured several options in order to further increase our stake in VW, if there is demand."

    Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff