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VW pushes aggressively into U.S., other global markets

Posted Thursday, Aug 13, 2009, 3:48 pm in Employee News

As General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. battled for the No. 1 sales ranking in recent years, Europe’s biggest carmaker Volkswagen AG seemed mired in a set of distinctly European problems, the The Detroit News reported.

It was saddled with a large, highly paid work force and a German state as its leading shareholder, the story said. Senior executives became tabloid fodder in 2005 during a sex and bribery investigation, and the chairman squandered money developing expensive vehicles far removed from Volkswagen’s original mission to be the “People’s Car” maker, the News said.

But in the global auto industry, winners can turn into losers overnight, while laggards can suddenly exhibit surprising vigor, the story said. Volkswagen, long dismissed by investors, looks quite fit in this downturn, the News said. While most of its rivals are losing money, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based manufacturer earned $1.7 billion in the first half of the year on its car-making operations and a net profit of $700 million, the paper said.

Propelled by its leading position in Europe and strong presence in China and other emerging markets, Volkswagen is on track to become the world’s second-largest automaker, behind only Toyota, possibly as early as this year, according to forecaster CSM Worldwide in Northville, the story said. (The Detroit News)
 
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