WOLFSBURG, GERMANY--(Marketwire - Dec 11, 2012) -
- Thanks to entire workforce for great commitment
- Highlights included switching to MQB and launch of new Golf
- Deputy Works Council Chairman Bernd Wehlauer retires
At today's works meeting at the main plant in Wolfsburg attended by some 15,000 employees, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, thanked everyone for their great commitment during the year now coming to a close: "2012 was a good year, a very good year, for the Volkswagen brand and the whole Group. I would like to pay a big compliment to the entire team for that." Winterkorn said the highlights for 2012 included switching production to the modular transverse toolkit (MQB) and the successful market launch of the new Golf.
Winterkorn said the workforce had achieved this with great flexibility, as well as "further progress in quality." According to Winterkorn: "This is all due first and foremost to the people at Volkswagen, to their know-how, their commitment and their dedication." On the occasion of the works meeting, the CEO said farewell to the Deputy Chairman of the Works Council, Bernd Wehlauer, who is taking early retirement after more than 40 years at Volkswagen. "I want to say a very warm thank-you for the fair cooperation conducted in a spirit of mutual partnership and for the passion you brought to your work for Volkswagen and the people in our company," Winterkorn said.
The CEO also took the opportunity offered by the works meeting to impress on employees that difficult times lie ahead: "One thing is certain: 2013 will be a tough year -- for the automobile industry as a whole and for us at Volkswagen, too." He went on to say the global economic situation would remains tense for the foreseeable future, but that it was gratifying to note that Volkswagen was outperforming the overall market in difficult conditions. He attributed this to the Group's high flexibility, its international orientation and "its outstanding products." Winterkorn named one example: "The new Golf is a winner in many respects. Over 60,000 orders have already been placed -- a great result that has given us a good tailwind."
The CEO also referred to the Company's investment program. EUR 50.2 billion will be invested in the Automotive Division in the coming three years, with further internationalization forming one focus of investment activities.
He added that Volkswagen would not only be stepping on the gas in a global context. The 67 plants and 400,000 employees in Europe were highly innovative and competitive: "And that will remain so in future." Winterkorn announced that more than half the investments in property, plant and equipment were earmarked for Germany: "That is well over EUR 20 billion -- of which EUR 1.8 billion alone will be invested in vehicle construction at the Wolfsburg plant. That is a clear commitment to the future of our main plant -- and to Volkswagen sites in Germany and Europe."