Volkswagen Group may be able to top 10 million vehicle sales in 2014, four years earlier than planned, according to chief executive Martin Winterkorn. "With rising volume and new models, we will increasingly see positive earnings effects as well," he added. VW Group sold 9.72 million vehicles last year, closely followed by General Motors Co., which sold 9.71 million units.
Volkswagen is investing EUR84.2 billion ($117 billion) through 2018 as its bids to dethrone Toyota Motor Corp. as the largest carmaker in the world. VW said it will launch over 100 models in 2014 and 2015, including vehicles for the VW volume brand and the Audi and Porsche premium marques. VW is seeing better trimes as the Europe market begins to recover and auto sales in China continue to surge, even as economic growth is bound to slow down.
At the same time, vehicle demand has been weakening in emerging markets like Brazil, Russia and India. Volkswagen is also bidding increase sales of its main brand in the United States, where it lagged behind gains made by its rivals. New or revamped models that Volkswagen plans to launch through next year include a new version of the mid-sized VW Passat sedan, variants for the Audi A4 line and a restyled Audi Q7 SUV.
The carmaker is also planning to introduce the Porsche Macan and a plug-in hybrid version of the Porsche Cayenne. The carmaker said that its VW passenger-vehicle brand posted a 21-percent drop in profit in 2013 to EUR2.89 billion. On the other hand, Porsche saw its earnings almost tripled from EUR943 million to EUR2.58 billion. Audi, however, logged a 6-percent drop in operating profit in 2013 to EUR5.03 billion. [source: Bloomberg]