2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
Despite the weak car market in Europe, VW boss Martin Winterkorn is confident. Above all, the new Golf will spur sales, believes the CEO.
VW boss Martin Winterkorn expects a "small special boom" for Volkswagen despite the weak car markets in Europe and the USA. Winterkorn cited a “product offensive” with models such as the new Golf, Scirocco or the new Polo as well as economical engines from VW as reasons. In front of journalists in Wolfsburg, Winterkorn also referred to the planned new small car model family “New Small Family”.
New Golf boost
The new Golf will bring a "boost". "The Golf VI will be an economically successful model," said the VW boss. The model will achieve an after-tax return of between five and seven percent. Winterkorn did not name comparative figures for the old Golf. The new Golf will hit the market in autumn. He will set "standards" in terms of technology, quality and elegance, said the VW boss. Volkswagen plans to sell around 600,000 units worldwide in 2009, the first full year. Last year 580,000 pieces of the old model were sold. The Golf is the most important VW model.
Unlike other car manufacturers, VW is sticking to its forecast for the current year. “We still stand by what we said,” emphasized the CEO. According to this, VW wants to increase sales, revenue and earnings compared to the previous year. By contrast, Toyota, PSA and Renault recently revised their sales forecasts downwards for the year as a whole. Winterkorn said VW was still on the move with "full throttle". However, you have to see whether you might take the gas off so as not to deliver the markets. "What we don't want is to fully park the warehouse and leave the cars behind."
Worries about gasoline prices
Overall, he viewed the global auto economy with concern, said Winterkorn. He mentioned the high gasoline prices and raw material costs as well as the turbulence on the international financial markets. While the car markets in China and South America could still “score”, the markets in the USA, Spain, Italy and England were weak. The mood in Germany is "anything but reassuring".
Regarding the high steel prices, Winterkorn said that the situation for VW is not yet critical due to ongoing contracts, but could become so in the next few years. The steel price increase has an impact when VW makes new deals. The auto industry can push away many costs through cost reductions or better material utilization. But if things continue like this, "the automotive industry will also have to think about price increases".
USA important sales market
Regarding the currently troubled US car market, Winterkorn said that he would also consider the US to be an extremely important sales market in the future. "I don't think the US will become a country of cyclists, pedestrians and train drivers." The trend is towards cars that are big, but economical and fuel-efficient. VW is also considering launching the Scirocco, which will be launched in Germany over the summer, or small cars in the USA.
VW decided last Tuesday to build a car factory in Chattanooga in the US state of Tennessee and, from the beginning of 2011, intends to manufacture models specially developed for the US market there. With this, VW wants to turn the US business that has been losing money for years. "I would be happy if we had the factory today," said Winterkorn.
Volkswagen still has a “blank spot” worldwide, said Winterkorn - and this is Southeast Asia. It is being considered to set up local production in Thailand, Malaysia or Vietnam. "We will discuss this in the course of autumn. I don't know yet whether we will come to a decision." Negotiations between VW and the car manufacturer Proton from Malaysia about a cooperation had failed. (dpa)
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