Volkswagen CEO Prof. Dr. Winterkorn thanks workforce for achievements in 2011
38 extra shifts and 50,000 more vehicles produced at main plant in Wolfsburg
Winterkorn: “Successful year in 2011, expectations for 2012 more cautious”
Wolfsburg, 06 December 2011 - The CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, highly commended the performance of the workforce in 2011.
He was full of praise for the Wolfsburg team, which worked 38 extra shifts and produced 50,000 more cars than originally planned. He added that the workforce identified with the company in a manner almost unparalleled by any other group. “It is this identification that makes Volkswagen so strong and successful today,” Winterkorn said.
Winterkorn also underscored the future viability of Wolfsburg and the other German plants. Domestic sites accounted for over half of the investments in property, plant and equipment for the next five years. He added that work on converting production in Wolfsburg to the modular transverse toolkit (MQB) was in full swing. From the press shop to the body shop and the assembly lines, tools, processes and people were gearing up for the future of automobile construction. "Going forward, all Group vehicles in the Polo, Golf and Passat segments will be based on the MQB. That is more than 40 models and 3.5 million units per year," Winterkorn commented. He said even greater attention must be devoted in future to uncompromising quality, adding that the team in Wolfsburg acted as a role model in this context.
The Chairman of the Group Works Council, Bernd Osterloh, emphasized: "Very many of our colleagues have been working flat out for months now to makes sure the MQB roll-out goes smoothly. And this pace will catch up with the entire team after Christmas. It’s full speed ahead until the launch of the MQB." The Works Council Chairman proposed a big party for employees at the Wolfsburg plant to celebrate the successful start. The last such party took place in 2007 when the 25 millionth Golf left the assembly line.
Winterkorn said that 2011 had been a very good year overall. 6.8 million vehicles had been delivered from January to October, just under 14 percent more than during the comparable prior-year period. November had also been a "very respectable month". He added that the Group would be delivering over 8 million vehicles for the full year.
Expectations for 2012, however, were more cautions, Winterkorn commented. Almost all economic forecasts indicated the global economy would cool down quite significantly. He said conservative planning, high flexibility in production and sales as well as continued cost and investment discipline were important for 2012, and added that, as a responsible company, Volkswagen was carefully preparing for all possible situations. He went on to say that in terms of strategy and products, Volkswagen was in a position to respond flexibly to fluctuations, and Strategy 2018 gave the company a compass for boom periods as well as more difficult phases