After having posted surging results in China, Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn claims that the company is gaining on Toyota Motor Corp.’s sales and profitability.
He added that the Volkswagen Group is set on grabbing the top position in the automotive industry from Toyota as it is now “well- positioned to achieve the goals laid down” for 2018.
In a statement, VW said that its third-quarter net income increased 12-fold to 2.1 billion euros ($2.9 billion) as sales rose 18% to 30.7 billion euros.
VW posted key nine-month group results on Oct. 22. According to Winterkorn, VW intends to take Toyota’s place as the world's No. 1 automaker by 2018. But an insider source said that VW internally seeks to hit its sales goal of 10 million vehicles three years earlier than that.
Tim Schuldt, a Frankfurt-based analyst at Equinet AG, said that “VW is closing in on Toyota on profitability targets.”
He believes that VW would now have to continue to expand the product portfolio “to underpin the positive trend on deliveries.” A major factor on why sales and profit are increasing in China is the demand for Santana and Lavida sedans. [via autonews - sub. required]