Wednesday 23 August 2017

Volkswagen investors hope exit will usher change

A Volkswagen GTI car is seen during a presentation at the 16th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in Shanghai. Photo: Reuters
A Volkswagen GTI car is seen during a presentation at the 16th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in Shanghai. Photo: Reuters

Andreas Cremer

Investors hope that Volkswagen will be able to revive profitability at its core division, cure underperformance overseas and bury lingering plans for acquisitions after the resignation of chairman Ferdinand Piech.

Mr Piech, the mastermind of VW's global expansion and a towering figure at the German group for more than two decades, stepped down on Saturday after losing a showdown he had provoked with chief executive Martin Winterkorn.

Almost 80pc of VW investors expect the carmaker's stock market value to increase after Mr Piech's departure as it may help unlock greater earnings potential at the 12-brand group, a survey by advisory firm Evercore ISI showed. Preference shares in Volkswagen rose more than 5pc yesterday, nearly making up for a slide in value during the two-week boardroom battle.

The exit of Mr Piech, who spearheaded VW's campaign to make everything from motorcycles to 40-tonne trucks, also curbs the risk of purchases while VW is cutting billions of euros of costs.

Irish Independent

Also in Business