Background of Volkswagen

With cars named for climate patterns, insects, and small mammals, Volkswagen (VW) leads the Continent as Europe’s #1 carmaker. Along with Golf (Gulf Stream reference) and the New Beetle, VW’s annual production of more than 7 million cars, trucks, and vans includes such models as Passat (trade wind), Jetta (jet stream), Rabbit, and Fox.

VW’s size means it seldom needs partnerships with rivals, says Mr Winterkorn. Perhaps this is just as well. Judging by its botched hook-up with Suzuki, a mid-sized Japanese maker, VW is not much good at romance. Suzuki’s boss, Osamu Suzuki, has filed for divorce and is taking VW to arbitration to force it to sell its 19.9% stake in Suzuki. Among other things, he has complained of being treated like a subsidiary, rather than a partner. VW had hoped to develop cheap cars for emerging markets with Suzuki, which is big in India. Now it must do so alone, at considerable cost.

VW is so big in China that it would be vulnerable to a downturn there. Likewise in Brazil, where its Chinese rivals are starting to encroach. And VW has a closer challenger in its rear-view mirror: Hyundai-Kia, which is pushing upmarket while continuing to churn out small, good-value motors. It has around half of its home market in South Korea, is ahead of VW with a 9% share in America and is making inroads in Europe and emerging markets. And unlike VW, it does not have a profusion of brands to support.

Their competitors would be automakers that are in the “non-luxury” category. From a marketing viewpoint, Volkswagen is not literally considered a “luxury” brand. Their competitors would not be any “luxury” brands such as Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes, Porsche, Saab and Volvo. Volkswagen no longer carries at least one “luxury” vehicle in their product line. They discontinued the “Phaeton.” I recall doing a research paper for a marketing class not too long ago regarding U.S. market share competition for luxury and non-luxury automakers.

The first two automakers that came to my mind was Toyota and Honda, however I had forgotten the other competitors. I remember I still had my sources/references saved on my favorites folder and found a reference for investors that showed a 2005 pie graph of General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota and Honda being the the top auto manfucturers with the highest percentage of U.S. market share. In the U.S., those 5 automakers would definately be competitors of Volkswagen. Unfortunately, in the U.S. market, Volkswagen has a very small market share meaning their sales are alot lower than their competitors.

VW Is Already The World’s Leading Automaker

Toyota Motor , General Motors GM +0.27% and Volkswagen AG are all vying to be the world’s largest automaker, and the race is tight when it comes to vehicle sales. Toyota sold 9.7 million cars and trucks last year, compared to GM’s 9.29 million and VW’s 9.1 million. But if you’re wondering which carmaker is the biggest, most powerful company in the industry, it’s no contest: Volkswagen.The German manufacturer has the highest revenues, profits and assets of any automaker, according to Forbes’ 2013 Global 2000 list. Its market value is second only to Toyota’s.

Ranking companies on a single metric, like sales, can be misleading, which is why Forbes uses a composite ranking, giving equal weight to sales, profits, assets and market value. With this method, Volkswagen easily outpaces the No. 2 automaker on the list, Toyota, which is recovering from a series of natural disasters and self-inflicted wounds, and No. 6 GM. VW made $28.6 billion profit on $254 billion in revenues in 2012, and its assets were worth $408 billion. Yet its market value was only $94.4 billion compared to $162.2 billion for Toyota.

Volkswagen has three cars in the top 10 list of best-selling cars of all time compiled by the website 24/7 Wall St: the Volkswagen Golf, the Volkswagen Beetle, and the Volkswagen Passat. With these three cars, Volkswagen has the most cars of any automobile manufacturer in the list that are still being manufactured.[1] Volkswagen ranks first in spending the most money of any automaker on research and development.[2] Volkswagen means “people’s car” in German. Its current slogan is Das Auto (“The Car”).