Unseating Toyota Motor Corp. as the world's top carmaker remains to be Volkswagen AG's aim as it moves to boost group vehicle sales by almost 60% and improve profit margins by 2018.
Last Tuesday, VW's management board approved these targets that put to light VW's ambitions to achieve the industry lead before the decade is over.
It's quite obvious that VW's plan is helped somewhat by Toyota's current situation where its quality as one of its main selling points is being challenged.
VW earmarked vehicle sales of 8 million in the medium term, rising to above the 10 million mark by 2018. VW sold 6.3 million vehicles last year, up 1.1%, to get 11.4% of the global vehicle market.
Toyota sales dropped 13% to 7.81 million in 2009. For 2010, Toyota forecast group-wide sales to rise to 8.27 million vehicles. However, this is still well short of the record 9.37 million units sold in 2007.
VW, Europe's biggest automaker and global No. 3 behind Toyota and General Motors Co., has plans to eventually generate an operating margin of at least 5% in its core automotive business and a group pretax margin over 8%. This 5% margin target excludes the planned integration next year of Porsche, which was subjected to a reverse takeover by VW.