Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest automaker, passed rival Ford Motor in the auto industry earnings race last year on surging demand in China.
Volkswagen said net income surged sevenfold to US$9.42 billion while Ford posted profit of US$6.56 billion for the same period. General Motors reported US$4.7 billion in profits.
Volkswagen aims to pass 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% this year after reporting a record 7.2 million deliveries of cars and sport-utility vehicles in 2010. Sales in China, VW’s biggest market, jumped 37% last year to 1.92 million.
The Press-Enterprise reports that 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.