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Comprehensive Overview of Volkswagen


2024-07-04 17:31

Volkswagen, as a well-known brand, was established in 1937 under the initiative of the Nazi German government. Its iconic model, the Volkswagen Beetle, became a symbol of the brand and gained global popularity. Now, let's delve into how Volkswagen has developed and grown over the years.

  Recently, the rumored collaboration between the American electric vehicle startup Rivian and Volkswagen was clarified on July 2nd (Tuesday) by Rivian, stating that no such partnership exists.

  Image Source: Yahoo Finance

  Earlier reports suggested that Rivian was in early talks with Volkswagen, possibly including plans for Volkswagen to manufacture Rivian's smaller and cheaper R2 SUV at its South Carolina plant. However, Rivian clarified on July 2nd that there are no such collaboration plans and confirmed its intentions to proceed with manufacturing the R2 SUV at its Illinois facility as originally planned, alongside continuing plans for a factory in Arizona. Volkswagen has not responded to this development.

  Following the clarification, Rivian's stock closed up 6.97% on Tuesday to $14.89 per share, briefly dipping 1.5% after hours before stabilizing, although the stock has still fallen more than 36% year-to-date.

Overview of Volkswagen

  Volkswagen AG was founded in 1937 with support from the Nazi German government and is best known for its flagship product, the Volkswagen Beetle. The company primarily focuses on producing and selling various models under brands like Volkswagen, including the Golf, Passat, Jetta, and others.

  Image Source: Wikipedia

  Volkswagen's parent company is Volkswagen Group, a global automotive manufacturing and service group established in the late 1950s through the evolution of Volkswagen AG. Beyond being an automaker, Volkswagen Group spans multiple sectors including financial services, automotive components manufacturing, and electric mobility solutions. It not only owns Volkswagen but also several internationally recognized automotive brands such as Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, each with distinct domains and philosophies.

Development History of Volkswagen

  In 1936, Volkswagen was established with the support of the official German Labor Front, a Nazi government entity.

  The establishment of Volkswagen AG was driven by the Nazi government, motivated by Hitler's strong passion for automobiles. Although he had limited knowledge of specific automotive production details, he aimed to make cars affordable for the masses, focusing on producing mass-market vehicles. At that time, automobiles were considered luxury items, with motorcycles and bicycles being the primary modes of transportation for the German public. Hence, Hitler aimed for Volkswagen to enhance fuel efficiency, ensure affordability for the working class, and provide low maintenance costs and after-sales service.

  In 1945, following World War II, Volkswagen AG faced reconstruction under British government trusteeship and reintroduced the Volkswagen Beetle. The first generation of the Beetle, discontinued in 2003, saw approximately 21.53 million units produced, making it the third best-selling car globally.

  In 1952, Volkswagen AG expanded its international operations, establishing production facilities and sales networks in other countries, with its first overseas sales subsidiary established. From 1955 to 1957, Volkswagen entered the Greater China market.

  In 1970, Volkswagen Group was established, gradually acquiring other automotive brands such as Audi, initiating a multi-brand strategy.

  In 1973, Volkswagen introduced the Passat model and followed the next year with the Golf, which became the best-selling model in the Volkswagen brand lineup following the Beetle.

  On April 11, 1983, the first Santana was successfully assembled in Anting Town, Jiading District, Shanghai, China. Two years later, Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Co., Ltd. was formally established, marking a milestone event for Volkswagen's entry into the Chinese market.

  On May 7, 2009, after a prolonged four-year acquisition battle, Porsche and the controlling families of Volkswagen AG reached a preliminary agreement. This merger consolidated the two companies into one of Europe's largest automotive manufacturers, encompassing a conglomerate with 10 brands.

  On July 4, 2012, Volkswagen announced the acquisition of Porsche Automobil Holding SE's remaining 50.1% stake in Volkswagen AG, despite Porsche SE already holding a majority stake in Volkswagen Group.

  In 2013, the European Union Court of Justice ruled that the provision in the “Volkswagen Law” requiring an 80% shareholder agreement was invalid, formally granting control of Volkswagen Group to Porsche SE. However, Porsche SE did not hold enough Volkswagen Group shares (75%), hence Volkswagen Group's revenue is not included in Porsche SE's financial statements.

Classic Porsche Acquisition Short-Selling Case

  When discussing Volkswagen, one cannot overlook Volkswagen's acquisition by Porsche. Founded in 1931, Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche was the original designer of Volkswagen. As early as 2005, Porsche had already invested in Volkswagen, with legal requirements stipulating that holding 75% of Volkswagen AG shares would constitute control over Volkswagen.

  Upon the announcement of the acquisition, short-sellers rushed to buy stocks to cover their positions. Intraday, Volkswagen's stock price soared to over 1,000 euros per share, nearly five times the previous closing price, briefly making Volkswagen the world's largest publicly traded company.

  The market was spurred by Porsche's plan in 2009 to increase its stake to 75%, driving Volkswagen AG's stock price to skyrocket over fourfold in just two days, surpassing ExxonMobil to become the world's most valuable company. This surge not only propelled Volkswagen's stock price but also drove an 11% increase in Germany's DAX index, while attracting numerous American investors to buy discounted stocks, with the Dow Jones index also surging by 11% on Tuesday.

Future Development

  Since the global emissions scandal surfaced in 2015, Volkswagen has faced challenges and intense competition in the automotive industry, prompting it to strive in multiple directions to maintain competitiveness and sustainable growth.

  Most importantly, Volkswagen is actively advancing its electrification strategy, planning to introduce more electric vehicle models and investing in electric vehicle technology development to meet future environmental regulations and market demands. Secondly, Volkswagen aims to maintain its leading position in automotive technology, including the development of autonomous driving technology and intelligent vehicle solutions. Volkswagen should continue to expand its global market share and achieve diversification through its multi-brand, diverse product portfolio.


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