Toyota may be the global automotive leader in sales volume, but it isn't the number one in profitability. Through the 2010 fiscal year, Volkswagen toppled Ford to become the most profitable automaker in the world.
Beating out Ford by nearly $3 billion, VW posted a 2010 profit of $9.42 billion, over seven times what it made in 2009. With over a quarter of its 7.2 million vehicle sales coming from China, VW raked in $175 billion in revenue, a 21-percent increase from 2009.
"We expect the group's revenue and operating profit in 2011 to be higher than the previous year," said VW in the statement "However, the continuing volatility in interest and exchange rate trends and commodities prices will weaken the positive effect from volume."
Being top-dog in profitability is not stopping VW from its ambitious goal of selling the most units of any automaker by 2015. Over the next four years VW will continue to invest money in new manufacturing facilities across the globe, to the tune of $71.3 billion.
Volkswagen intends to grow by 5 percent in 2011, and will rely on emerging markets heavily for the planned growth. Brazil, India, and Russia are expected to play a big part, but China will likely lead the way. Last year VW's sales in China totaled 1.92 million units, a 37-percent increase over 2009. United Sales in 2010 were 257,000, a 20-percent increase over the prior year.