After setting its sights on becoming the world’s biggest carmaker six years ago, Volkswagen AG has steadily moved closer to its twin objective of becoming the world’s most profitable automaker, reporting operating income of 11.5 billion euros, or $15 billion, for 2012. The total easily surpassed General Motors Co.’s $7.9 billion and Toyota Motor Corp.’s $11.1 billion.
Martin Winterkorn, chairman of VW’s Board of Management, noted during the company’s annual financial press conference the Volkswagen Group had mastered the challenges posed by a difficult market environment in 2012 by posting record vehicle sales, sales revenue and earnings.
“Volkswagen is feeling the headwinds –especially in Europe. Nevertheless we remain guardedly confident,” he said.
The Volkswagen Group not only turned in a compelling operational performance in the past fiscal year – it also met its targets for major strategic projects: The once-uncertain acquisition of the Porsche brand was completed last August, while Ducati, a legendary motorcycle brand, also joined the Group family, Winterkorn said.