Vw reaching new heights thanks to CFO Poetsch’s attention to details

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

Volkswagen AG is getting nearer to its goal of taking over the title of world's largest carmaker from Toyota Motor Corp. But while that is going on, VW Chief Financial Officer Hans-Dieter Poetsch wants to make sure that its ambitions don't deplete its financial resources.

VW's big projects include a merger with Porsche, a 20% stake in Suzuki as well as new factories in the US, China and India, which all would test the financial strength of any large international company. VW is undertaking these projects while at the same time, it is telling investors that it will significantly increase its profits in 2010 than 2009.

Poetsch, who joined VW in 2003, is credited for having brought to Volkswagen a "financial rigor, capital discipline and a detailed planning process," according to Sanford Bernstein analyst Max Warburton.

Poetsch participated heavily in creating a complex deal to rescue Porsche in 2009. He is also responsible for raising 4 billion euros (about $5 billion) from the financial markets during the economic crisis to help fund VW's merger with Porsche.

Warburton said that because of Poetsch's diligence, the Porsche deal now has checks and balances to protect VW's balance sheet. Warburton said that Poetsch has caused a cultural change at Europe's biggest automaker.

In an e-mail, Warburton said that it may be arguable whether VW is truly a model of transparency and good corporate governance but he believes that most auto sector followers would agree that Poetsch runs a tight ship and knows all the vital details of VW's operations.

Topics: vw, sales

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