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Volkswagen AG has surpassed Ford Motor Co as the most profitable automotive manufacturer in 2010, with the German giant topping the Blue Oval by almost $3 billion.

Volkswagen’s net income increased more than sevenfold in 2010, up from 960 million euros ($1.3 billion) in 2009 to 6.84 billion euros ($9.25 billion) last year. Its revenue increased 21 percent to 126.8 billion euros ($171.6 billion).

Ford’s 2010 profit was $US6.56 billion ($6.47 billion), and General Motors reported a $US4.7 billion ($4.6 billion) net income. Toyota Motor Corp has forecast a 490 billion yen ($5.9 billion) profit for the financial year, ending March 31.

Volkswagen AG sold a record 7.2 million new vehicles around the world in 2010, and has predicted a sales increase of five percent for 2011 – which should take it beyond 7.56 million sales.

Much of the growth is expected to come from the developing BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Sales in China alone increased 37 percent to 1.92 million in 2010.

“We expect the group’s revenue and operating profit in 2011 to be higher than the previous year,” Volkswagen said in a statement.

“However, the continuing volatility in interest and exchange rate trends and commodities prices will weaken the positive volume effect.”

Volkswagen’s components suppliers have had trouble keeping pace with vehicle production, and VW’s Wolfsburg plant in Germany was forced to close for one day on January 31 to let supply catch up.

Over the weekend, Audi announced it was adding 2000 jobs to its production facilities as it attempts to keep up with record vehicle orders.

Late last year, Volkswagen AG committed to investing 51.6 billion euros ($69.8 billion) in its plants around the world before 2016. An additional 10.6 billion euros ($14.3 billion) will be invested into Volkswagen’s joint ventures in China.

In Australia in 2010, Volkswagen Group sales (including Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Skoda and Volkswagen) increased more than 23 percent compared with 2009 (52,671 vs 42,712)

The Volkswagen brand was the biggest winner, up from 30,087 in 2009 to 38,016. Audi added 1590 sales in 2010 for a total of 12,900, while Skoda, Bentley and Lamborghini each posted increases in excess of 30 percent.

All brands except Lamborghini were up in Australia in January 2011, pointing to another positive year for the German auto giant.

  • rocket_v6

    half the profit they would have made from overpriced options list

    • pENCIL nECK

      Like all German cars in this country.

      Anti-spam word “Lexus” how appropriate, considering the topic.

  • JR

    wow who would of thought that if you sold cheaply built cars at premium prices you could make a profit .

    • Jacob Martyn

      um, Polos are laser welded together. Solid.

    • Jester

      “Cheaply built” – have you ever sat in a new VW by the way. If you want something cheaply built you’r barking up a wrong tree, something like a 65K F6 is a perfect example

  • F1MotoGP

    GM, Ford Toyota..etc all were very profitable but than quality dropped and some survived on government money others did better. VW should look at those companies because it is easy to get Big Headed!!

    • James

      They all appear profitable now so what’s the point?

  • MF

    Time to make your cars more affordable! Dont get big headed ey!

    • Freddo

      Time to make your cars last more than 60,000klm is more to the point

      • pENCIL nECK

        That’s why you buy a Lexus & never worry about reliability issues, unless it has a sticky accelerator pedal, sorry, I mean’t to say, ill fitting carpet mat…

      • Suntory Time

        True, there’s plenty of Golfs out there with blown head-gaskets, well before they hit 100,000km. And the repair costs are more than the cars value at the time.

        Stay away from high mileage VW’s.

        • bangel

          Same can be said for high mileage BMW’s , i can attest to that got badly burnt on two in the 90’s , like all cars buy em new sell them at 60k and let the second goose do the repairs .

    • fishman

      In Europe they are more affordable – they’re priced at the same level as Ford & Vauxhall/Opel (GM).

      Its only in Oz that buyers get ripped off, as they’ve worked out they can charge a premium and get away with.

  • anthony

    I am waiting to see how they will price the all new 2011 Jetta,as in the USA they reduced its price,but it has been selling like hot cakes.
    Wonder if they will try the same formula here ???

    • jbot

      They go for $15,000 here in the US. Absolutely crazy what the charge in Oz.

  • laurie

    Wait and see what they do with the Skoda,may be their entry into the Executive class they must have had a reason to buy Skoda!

    • F1MotoGP

      If you look at Skoda before WWII it was one of the top car company in Europe. VW knew very well what they want. Check out The history of cars website. Skoda Superb was a very nice car first built in 1939? with 4 liter engine. Workforce is highly skilled.

  • Octavian

    German quality at Japanese prices is what I want.

    • f1worldchamp

      How about Italian styling, German engineering, Japanese build quality and Chinese pricing?

      • Roadtard

        I second that!

    • Hung Low

      If VW is the epitome of German quality, I would buy one!
      Truth is they make German quality look like a myth!

      • JR

        Thats because it is a myth

        • Jacob Martyn

          Bosch power tools are a myth?

          better tell the tradies to stop using them.

          • Roger Ramjet

            Makita are better!

          • Andrew M

            Depends which tools you are talking about. Some Makita tools are what I wold consider the best, but other arent

            I have a big mix because I dont believe any one tool manufacturer has the best of everything. Ive even Got a Metabo (one for the German lovers), but I dont rate it that high

            Makita is good for 7 1/4 saw for eg, but Dewalt does the better 9 1/4 saw.
            I also dont trust Makita anymore for cordless batteries, ive found a new appreciation of Panasonic and its superior Cordless batteries

            Hitachi does alright gear to use, but if a relatively small part fails, throw it away because replacement part prices will break your heart, much like what Ive heard about VW parts

            Not many people Use Bosch, they are pretty much just “another” brand here in OZ

            Makita is like the Ford and Holden of Power tools, everyone knows who they are, and value for money they are pretty good. Also Makita tools, like Ford and Holden are fairly cheap and easy to fix if something does go pear shaped with them

  • Craig

    No wonder they are the most profitable, perhaps its down to their exorbitant servicing costs, and as a result I wont be buying another one.

    • Ezzagun

      What amount constitutes “exorbitant” I wonder? I own a Skoda Octavia RS, just booked it in for it’s first 12 month service at $340… had I bought a Mazda6 for example, I’d be servicing every 6 months at roughly $250 a pop, that’s $500 every 12 months, not to mention inconvenience of having to put the car in twice a year… so which would cost me more??

      Fair enough the major service on a VAG car will likely cost more than a Mazda/Toyota//Hyundai, but keep in mind the technology under the bonnet of most if not all VAG cars requires a little more attention to detail (eg higher quality oils), perhaps more frequent inspections eg coolant levels, turbo… but let me tell you based on my own experience, to get the driving satisfaction that I get from my car I’m pretty sure most owners of Golfs, Jettas, Octavias, Superbs, Passats etc are more than happy to be vigilant in the maintenance of their cars, otherwise they would have/should have bought a Corolla/Camry/Accord/Cruze like every other Joe Commuter.

      • MF

        Most Euro car owners i know always praise their cars because they feel they have to, while at the back complain about parts breaking down and high maintenance fees.

        They are cars for showing not daily driving is all i can put it.

        • Ezzagun

          MF, I’m guessing you’ve never owned a Euro car, and neither had I until 10 months ago. I’m definitely not a show pony, in fact I consider myself a keen driver and I wanted a car that brought the greatest smile to my dial from behind the wheel as I punt it through corners and bends while still giving me the boot space I need for a family of four, and the interior quality I was seeking… the car’s looks and badge perception could not have mattered less to me.

          No breakdowns, perfectly reasonable maintenance costs and an absolutely cracking drive… do yourself a favour my friend, drive one and you’ll realise your generalisations are exactly that.

  • bnlo

    Yeah lol those profits were made from the option list..

  • Jacob Martyn

    Time for German auto parts biz on ebay!

  • Andrew M

    What this does is makes a mockery of the top 2 that battle it out for #1 in sales numbers (GM and Toyota) because they certainly arent making anymore money for spinning their production lines any faster.

  • Dean

    I Bet all the people who talk down VW reliabilty own a jap car and have had reliability issues which they don’t want to admit to. Just look at the company with the most recalls in the last three years TOYOTA (lexus) what can you say about broken valve springs after 5000 km. And yes I own a VW MK6 GTI.

  • Josh

    I currently own an MK1 gti that i daily now for about five years and have well over 200 thousand miles. i work on VWS all day long and i will never own any other car. I bet anyone who has owned a vw and doesn’t like it is because they do not realize that a vw like many things in the world require specific maintinence at specific times if not than yes they will teeter on reliability, but if the buyer is a real car enthusiats then they will know that what they are buying can last well over 100,000 miles with out a blown head gasket. VW is the epitome of all companies and will be for as long as we are a live. From creating four wheel drive for the first consumers to being the leaders in turbo diesels. Once you eliminate bias opinions and profiling of the country the fact is VW is quality, and its obvious they are not all about quantity. I know more families that specificly own VWs than anyother car company.