Volkswagen aims to sell 10 million cars by 2018
Volkswagen said it plans to increase sales to more than 10 million vehicles by 2018 as it seeks to dethrone Japan’s Toyota.
VW’s management board approved business targets, including profit margins, measured by earnings before interest and taxes, of at least 5pc for the automotive business in the “medium term,” Volkswagen said in a statement today.
The target doesn’t include Porsche SE, which will be integrated by 2011, it said.
Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn has a target of beating Toyota, the world’s biggest carmaker, in global deliveries and profit margins.
VW sold 6.29 million cars and sport-utility vehicles worldwide last year, an increase of 1.1pc from 2008. Toyota said last month that 2009 vehicle sales including those of affiliates fell 13pc to 7.81 million vehicles.
“It shows plenty of ambition in the whole Volkswagen Group,” said Stephen Pope, chief global equity strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald in London. “By being able to learn from Porsche’s discipline, it gives them that extra springboard.”
By 2018, Volkswagen, which includes the Audi luxury division and Czech unit Skoda, should have a pretax profit that exceeds 8pc of sales, the company said.
Volkswagen fell 18 cents, or 0.3pc, to €65.72 after rising as much as 1pc on the Frankfurt exchange before the announcement. The automaker has a market value of €25.7bn.
“With the implementation of ‘Strategy 2018,’ the Volkswagen group is seeking global economic and environmental leadership in the automotive industry by 2018,” VW said in its statement.
The plan would include “significant cost cutting, in part through the more prominent use of the modular design principle.”
VW foresees steps to promote research and development of hybrid and electric cars, according to the statement. VW will also maintain “strict discipline” on spending and aim to keep the expenditure on fixed assets in auto-making at about 6pc of sales in the medium and long term.