Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pischetsrieder: Bright future for Volkswagen

Source: Volkswagen AG
CEO thanks workforce

WOLFSBURG, Germany - Dr. Bernd Pischetsrieder, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, sees the company on the way to a promising future. “This year, we reached important milestones in restructuring the company and improving its competitive strength”, said Pischetsrieder at a works meeting in Wolfsburg on Thursday. “We have achieved significant milestones in ensuring the sustainable success of our company. But these are just milestones, and we still have a long way to go to reach our goal. To master the challenges of the future, we have to keep looking ahead and maintaining our course.” Going forward, this will also require all areas of the company to continue to focus on customers and what they want.

Press release continues...

Looking back, Pischetsrieder said that the collective wage agreement ensures that labor costs at the Western German Volkswagen plants are now closer to those of the competition. "This allows us to increase capacity utilization and safeguard jobs." Longer working hours and more efficient processes mean that component production has also become significantly more competitive.

He emphasized that there had been significant improvements in all areas of the company. "We have analyzed and systematically improved quality, processes and cost structures." As a result, build quality has risen tangibly, while material costs have been cut substantially, without affecting quality, he said. Productivity has grown considerably in recent years, and the time taken to build a car is now significantly lower than it was two years ago.

With 20 new models in 2006, the Group’s new model initiative is the basis for this year’s record unit sales. The global market grew by around 2.5 percent up to the end of November, but the Group expanded its deliveries to customers by 9.9 percent to more than 5.2 million vehicles. "This means that we have matched the full-year 2005 volume in only eleven months. And what’s particularly encouraging is that all Group brands exceeded their 2005 delivery figures", said Pischetsrieder.

Pischetsrieder expressed his personal thanks to the workforce for their support. "The group had to be steered through difficult waters in the past few years. It wasn’t always an easy time, and it also demanded some painful decisions from all of us. The fact that you nonetheless continued working hard for this company and its success, and demonstrated your commitment at all times, is a particular mark of distinction for the Volkswagen workforce. I took all my decisions fully aware of my responsibility for around 330,000 employees of an outstanding company. I would like to thank you for the confidence that you showed me during this period. Volkswagen is a distinctive brand all over the world, and rightly so. I am proud to have helped shape the company’s development."


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