VW surpasses Ford to claim highest 2010 profit

VW surpasses Ford to claim highest 2010 profit

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VW surpasses Ford to claim highest 2010 profit

Posted: 03 Mar 2011 03:10 PM PST

Volkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest automaker, passed rival Ford Motor Co. in the auto industry earnings race last year on surging demand in China.

Net income surged sevenfold to 6.84 billion euros ($9.42 billion), the Wolfsburg-based company said Feb. 25. Ford posted 2010 profit of $6.56 billion, while General Motors Co. reported $4.7 billion. Toyota Motor Corp. forecasts 490 billion yen ($6 billion) in profit in the year ending March 31.

Volkswagen aims to surpass Toyota, the world’s largest carmaker, in sales and profitability by 2018 on growth in Brazil, Russia, India and China. VW forecasts deliveries will grow 5 percent this year after reporting a record 7.2 million deliveries of cars and SUVs in 2010. Sales in China, VW’s biggest market, advanced 37 percent last year to 1.92 million on the Lavida sedan and Golf hatchback.

Net income beat the 4.96 billion-euro average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue rose 21 percent to 126.8 billion euros. Earnings before interest and taxes in 2010 advanced to a record 7.14 billion euros, up from 1.85 billion euros in 2009. VW proposed a 2010 dividend of 2.20 euros per common share and 2.26 euros per preferred share.

China Expansion

VW, the first overseas carmaker to enter China three decades ago, is planning to add two plants and double production to 3 million cars annually. The manufacturer, which also owns the Audi, Skoda and Lamborghini brands, currently has nine Chinese factories.

Tight component supplies stemming from partsmakers’ struggle to keep up with vehicle demand caused VW to halt production at its main Wolfsburg factory on Jan. 31 and a plant in Emden. The Audi luxury division announced plans yesterday to add 2,000 workers as it struggles to keep up with record sales.

“We expect the group’s revenue and operating profit in 2011 to be higher than the previous year,” VW said in the statement. “However, the continuing volatility in interest and exchange rate trends and commodities prices will weaken the positive volume effect.”

VW said in November it will invest 51.6 billion euros through 2015 on plants, vehicles and developing the carmaker’s nine brands worldwide. Spending doesn’t include China, the manufacturer’s biggest market, where VW’s joint ventures will invest another 10.6 billion euros.

- Bloomberg

Firemint Announces Real Racing 2 HD for iPad 2

Posted: 03 Mar 2011 06:06 AM PST

With the announcement of the Apple iPad 2 yesterday, competition in the tablet arena just got that much hotter. We’re not Apple fanboys by any means but the iPad 2 looks sweet, we love fast and we love racing. Firemint has some of the best racing games out and has also created Real Racing GTI sponsored by Volkswagen. Taking advantage of the new 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 chip, Firemint says Real Racing 2 will shine on the new power and physical weight reduction. Sounds like racing talk to us!

Our star game on the first iPad was Real Racing HD, the top game in the charts at launch. We've already mentioned that we've been working furiously on Real Racing 2 HD – if we'd been able to release it together with Real Racing 2 for iPhone before Christmas, we definitely would have done that but there was just too much work to get both versions ready in time. Now that Apple has revealed the details of iPad 2, we know more about what's in store for Real Racing 2 HD!

While we were not aware of the specs for iPad 2 before the keynote, we made some educated guesses about where we thought the hardware might head, so for many months now we have been developing a much more graphically intensive version of Real Racing 2 HD to take advantage of the anticipated performance improvements. Real Racing 2 HD has been significantly enhanced beyond what could work on existing devices, and our efforts have definitely given us a head start on iPad 2.

The 9x faster graphics, gyroscope and slimline form factor have us really excited. Real Racing 2 HD will absolutely shine on such powerful graphics hardware combined with our own rendering enhancements. The lighter and thinner form factor will make the iPad 2 handle even more like a steering wheel, and we've put a lot of effort into making it feel just right. The gyroscope will also contribute to the smooth and intuitive handling as it adds another sensor input we can check against for added precision.

All these attributes combined with our enhancements to Real Racing 2 HD will create the most precise and intuitive car racing experience on any device. The 1080p HDMI output also opens up some great possibilities.

We're very excited about the fantastic opportunities iPad 2 will provide in the gaming space. Real Racing HD was the #1 game for the original iPad – and an awesome experience to boot – and we can't wait to take advantage of iPad 2 with Real Racing 2 HD!

- Firemint

Volkswagen introduces four new versions of the Golf R in Geneva

Posted: 02 Mar 2011 06:54 AM PST

Volkswagen Golf R, Geneva 030211 08

Gallery after the jump!

The Golf R – the top model of the Golf series, is on display in four special versions in Geneva. Especially high-end: the Golf R concept cars in exclusive exterior colours and two-tone leather combinations. Especially sporty: the Golf R in sophisticated motorsport look with carbon accents.

In Geneva, Volkswagen R GmbH is exhibiting four special interpretations of its successful Golf R model. The concept cars showcase the competence of Volkswagen R GmbH in generating contemporary sports appeal. “Based on the high demand and success of the Golf R, we decided to develop four high-end versions of this vehicle,” says Ulrich Richter, Managing Director of Volkswagen R GmbH.

Golf R in exclusive paints and two-tone leather

The Golf R versions in the exclusive “Oryx White” and “Carbon Steel Grey” exterior colours – with coordinated high-end Nappa leather interiors – interpret the top model in an especially exclusive way.

“Oryx White” is a sophisticated, pearl-effect paint. The vehicle rides on 19-inch Talladega wheels, a visual branding symbol of the most powerful production Golf ever. Inside, an elaborately upgraded seat system gives the Golf R its unique flair – this seat system was derived from Volkswagen R’s Exclusive programme. Volkswagen R GmbH has colour-coordinated the centre panels of the front sport seats and the rear bench seat with the car’s exterior by using a light-coloured “St. Tropez” Nappa leather; this colour is also used in the door inserts. Lateral seat supports in perforated leather give the seat and seatback an especially sporty elegance. The Nappa leather surface is black, and the perforation creates an exciting contrast to the underlying “St. Tropez” colour. This light colour is also applied to the seams of the door inserts, shift lever and parking brake lever boots and borders of the black floor mats. The car has brushed aluminium trim inserts and displays the R logo on the passenger’s side.

The second version of the Golf R is painted in the exclusive exterior colour “Carbon Steel Grey.” All interior detailing in “St. Tropez” colour in the white version is now executed in the sophisticated dark “Almandine Red” colour here. This creates an especially attractive interplay of colours around the perforated Nappa leather. This version also has 19-inch wheels and aluminum trim strips.

Golf R in motorsport look with carbon accents

The Golf R being presented in a separate lounge sports an exterior that captivates with its special “Space Grey” (mid-tone grey) colour, polished 19-inch “Talladega” alloy wheels, orange brake calipers and carbon mirror caps.

Volkswagen Golf R interior, Geneva

Inside is where this Golf R really picks up speed: the driver and front passenger are treated to motorsport shell seats with ideal ergonomics. They are upholstered in black Nappa leather; around the lateral seat supports toward the inside, as well as in the head section, the seating surfaces consist of anthracite-coloured Nappa leather (“Light Anthracite”). The cross-stitched centre panels of the seats and seatbacks are an even lighter grey (Nappa leather in “Pure Grey”). The back shell glistens in black piano paint. A refined contrast is formed by the piping on the side panels of the seat surface and the head section: the orange of the brake calipers is repeated here.

The car’s interior accents match the look of the door mirror shells: carbon. The same material is also used for the steering wheel, gear shift lever, inserts of the leather-trimmed sport steering wheel and the door sill plates. Black piano paint, on the other hand, is used on door panels behind the interior door handles, on electric window switch panels and the panel around the shift lever.

The second vehicle is painted in the high-end “Aplomb Blue.” Its 19-inch “Glendale” wheels are “Brilliant Silver.” As on the Golf R “Space Grey”, the door mirror caps, various interior accents and door sill plates are produced in carbon fibre. The shell seatbacks of the newly sculpted motorsport seats also utilize this extremely lightweight and high-strength material in certain areas. Elegant, black Nappa leather adorns the outer sections of the seat surfaces and backs. The crest of the seats – a wrap-around stripe on the lateral seat supports and seatbacks – is designed in blue leather. Meanwhile, the leather-trimmed sport steering wheel has inner segments and hand grips consisting of what is referred to as carbon leather; it has a characteristic webbed structure of lightweight and precious carbon material. Even the floor mats have a carbon look. Their decorative seams are blue as are the seams around the parking brake lever.

- Volkswagen AG

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