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Volkswagen reports €12 billion profit for 2018

March 12, 2019

Germany's Volkswagen announced a €12.15 billion profit for 2018, beating analysts' forecasts. The automaker also said that electric cars would play a major role in the future, as it continues to deal with 'Dieselgate'.

Volkswagen chrome logo
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J. Stratenschulte

Volkswagen announced on Tuesday it had made a net profit of €12.15 billion ($13.7 billion) in 2018, beating analysts' forecasts. The profit comes despite huge charges linked to its "Dieselgate" emissions-cheating scandal, and a difficult road ahead due to tough new pollution tests.

The operating results of the main brand Volkswagen was €3.2 billion as opposed to last years €3.3 billion. 

All together VW sold 10.8 million vehicles around the world from its 12 brands, bringing in €235.8 billion, with revenues posting slower growth than profits.

"We performed very well in spite of strong headwinds," chief executive Herbert Diess said in a statement.

Herbert Diess, CEO of German carmaker Volkswagen
CEO of Volkwagen talks to the pressImage: Reuters/F. Bimmer

Emissions and Dieselgate

One major burden was the WLTP emissions tests, that were introduced since VW's 2015 admission that it manipulated millions of cars worldwide to appear less polluting.

Volkswagen had to come up with €3.2 billion to cover costs relating to "Dieselgate", the same as the previous year.   

A large proportion of the costs came in Germany as VW paid a group-wide fine of €1.0 billion, while high-end subsidiary Audi had to forfeit €800 million.

Overall, since 2015, legal costs, fines, buybacks, and refits to affected cars have cost VW €29 billion, the group said.

Electric cars

In an announcement on its website, Volkswagen said that it was planning on increasing the number of models of electric cars from 50 to 70. It also said that in the next 10 years it was projecting that it would increase the number of electric cars produced from 15 million to 22 million. 

"Volkswagen is seeking to provide individual mobility for millions of people for years to come — individual mobility that is safer, cleaner and fully connected. In order to shoulder the investments needed for the electric offensive we must make further improvements in efficiency and performance in all areas," Diess said.

Volkswagen E-Golf
VW announces major increase in electric carsImage: Getty Images/J. Schlueter

The Wolfsburg automaker added that in order to boost e-mobility further, it would be installing 400 fast-charging stations along Europe's major roads and highways by 2020 in collaboration with industry partners in IONITY. A hundred of them would be located in Germany — so there would be a station every 120 kilometers (75 miles).

av/jm /AFP, Reuters)

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