Volkswagen AG posted higher earnings last year than Ford Motor Co. as the demand in China continued to surge. The net income of Volkswagen, Europe's biggest automaker, rose sevenfold to 6.84 billion euros ($9.42 billion), according to a report from the company on Feb. 25. Ford posted a profit of $6.56 billion for 2010, while General Motors Co. had $4.7 billion. Toyota Motor Corp. forecasts 490 billion yen ($6 billion) in profit in the year ending March 31.
Volkswagen seeks to beat Toyota, the world's largest carmaker, in sales and profitability by 2018 as it relies on growth in Brazil, Russia, India and China. VW expects deliveries to increase by 5% this year after posting a record 7.2 million deliveries of cars and SUVs in 2010.
Sales in China, VW's biggest market, increased by 37% last year to 1.92 million on the Lavida sedan and Golf hatchback. Net income surpassed the 4.96 billion-euro average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Revenue went up 21% to 126.8 billion euros. Meanwhile, earnings before interest and taxes in 2010 advanced to a record 7.14 billion euros, a significant increase from 1.85 billion euros in 2009. VW proposed a 2010 dividend of 2.20 euros per common share and 2.26 euros per preferred share.
VW, which is the first overseas carmaker to penetrate China three decades ago, plans to construct two plants and double production to 3 million cars annually. Currently, VW (which is the owner of the Audi, Skoda and Lamborghini brands) runs nine Chinese factories. [via autonews - sub. required]