Already having passed its Japanese rival on the bottom line, Volkswagen is taking aim at Toyota’s other crown, hoping to soon surpass it as the world’s best-selling automaker.
The German maker is rapidly moving to shore up global weak spots – like the United States – while pushing for fast growth in key emerging markets, such as China, where it maintains a modest lead over the former king-of-the-global-hill General Motors.
For many industry leaders, it’s more a question of when, rather than whether, VW will firmly land as global sales leader.
The maker’s CEO Martin Winterkorn is certainly among those who believe it will happen, telling Bloomberg News, “The Volkswagen Group continues to have its sights firmly set on capturing pole position in the automotive industry.”
The maker is moving ahead with a 10-year plan, which began in 2008, calling for global domination. But it has already achieved some of its goal for leadership, notably on the bottom line. For the first nine months of 2010, VW profits quintupled, to $5.23 billion.