The Volkswagen Group can look back on a very good fiscal year. We clearly exceeded the ambitious goals that we had set ourselves for 2011: with of 8.3 million – over one million more than in the year before – we again substantially outperformed the overall market. Our sales revenue increased by 25.6 percent to €159.3 billion, while our also rose to €11.3 billion – a new record.
It is not only in our financial key performance indicators that we have made major progress at the Volkswagen Group: we systematically expanded our model portfolio and occupied new, high-growth segments with fascinating vehicles such as the Beetle, the Golf Cabriolet, the Audi Q3 and the New Small Family. The opening of the has lent additional impetus to our US strategy. We significantly increased our sales capability with the acquisition of the trading business of Porsche Holding Salzburg. And the integration of into our Group has enabled us to create an outstanding foundation for the commercial vehicles alliance comprising Volkswagen, MAN and Scania.
Furthermore, the largest investment program in our Company’s history demonstrates how robust and forward-looking the Volkswagen Group is: between now and 2016, we will be investing more than €62 billion in environmentally-friendly technologies and new vehicles, in developing new markets and in existing and new factories. We will continue to extend our leading position in with additional investments of €14 billion.
All these success stories are underpinned by a strong workforce that numbers more than 500,000 people. Our vehicles and our customers benefit from their passion and their outstanding skills. My Board of Management colleagues and I would like to express our sincere thanks to all of our employees worldwide.
I would also like to thank you, our shareholders, for your confidence in the Volkswagen Group. 2011 was an extremely volatile year on the stock markets, but both Volkswagen AG’s ordinary shares and its preferred shares outperformed the overall market for the year as a whole. Our Company’s strong performance is also reflected in of €3.00 for ordinary shares and €3.06 for preferred shares – significantly higher than last year.
In a tougher environment, we will do our utmost to systematically and prudently continue our profitable growth trajectory. 2012 will be a very demanding year for the automotive industry. Nevertheless, I am convinced that our broad global positioning, coupled with our unique diversity of brands, vehicles and services, mean that the Volkswagen Group has what it takes to continue outperforming its competitors.
To sum up: our Strategy 2018 is working. Volkswagen is well on the way to taking pole position in the automotive industry. However, despite all our successes, we still have quite some way to go. That is because success and size are more than just a matter of vehicle sales, market share and sales revenue. At Volkswagen, what really matters to us most is that we can satisfy our customers and employees all over the world; that we can drive forward all the technologies needed to make our vehicles even safer and more environmentally friendly; that we can conserve resources and use renewable energy in our plants; and, not least, that we can continue our broad commitment to education, culture and a responsible society.
Responsibility for the environment, for our employees and for society is a core component of our Strategy 2018. Because we are convinced that this is the only way that Volkswagen can grow sustainably and profitably. And because this is an integral part of becoming the leading automobile manufacturer – in every respect.
That is precisely what the Volkswagen Group is striving for, and it is what we want to be measured by. In the interests of our customers, our employees and our business partners, and of our shareholders.
Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn