After the global economy largely recovered in 2010 from the severe slump of the previous year with above-average growth, we expect this upward trend to weaken slightly in the current year. We continue to see the most dynamic growth prospects in the emerging markets of Asia and Latin America, whereas the industrialized nations will continue to experience only moderate growth. However, the strained debt situation of many countries and a further increase in inflationary tendencies are dampening economic prospects to a certain extent.
We again expect uneven development in the global automotive markets in 2011. In some Western European countries, rising public debt and the end of subsidy programs will have a negative impact on demand for new vehicles. By contrast, we expect an increase in new vehicle registrations in Central and Eastern Europe. The positive trends will continue in the strategically important markets in China and India, and we also expect demand to rise further in the markets of North and South America. Overall, global demand for passenger cars is expected to exceed the level for 2010.
The Volkswagen Group’s key competitive advantages are its unique brand portfolio and its continually growing presence in all key regions of the world. Thanks to our expertise in technology and design, we have a diverse, attractive and environmentally friendly range of products that meets all customer desires and needs. In addition, the modular toolkit system, which we are continually optimizing, will have an increasingly positive effect on the Group’s cost structure. In 2011, the Volkswagen Group’s nine brands will once again introduce a large number of fascinating new models to the market, thus further expanding our strong position in the global markets. We therefore expect our deliveries to customers to increase as against the previous year.
We expect the Group’s sales revenue and operating profit in 2011 to be higher than the previous year. However, the continuing volatility in interest and exchange rate trends and commodities prices will weaken the positive volume effect. Disciplined cost and investment management and the continuous optimization of our processes remain core components of our “Strategy 2018”.
Wolfsburg, February 25, 2011
The Board of Management