Auto industry heavyweight Volkswagen AG expects the global car sector's sales in 2010 to come in at levels similar to this year's, a senior executive said Wednesday.
Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen said it delivered 4 million cars worldwide in the January-August period, a 2.1 percent drop from record 2008 levels.
However, that compared with a decline of about 14 percent in the global auto market. VW said it was making progress and gaining market share, especially in Germany, China and Brazil.
"In our current planning for 2010, we expect a similar sales volume for the entire car market as in 2009," Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, a management board member responsible for purchasing, told employees at a workers' council meeting in Wolfsburg.
"Worldwide, we're still in third place in sales, but we've cut the distance to the top considerably," Sanz told workers. "That should spur us onward, especially now in the current situation, to give it more of a crack."
The struggle over control of Porsche, the heavily leveraged maker of world-class sports cars including the 911, appears to be coming to an end, according to media reports.
The German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel reported on its Web site Saturday that Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen AG would initially get 49.9 percent of Porsche AG and later take the remaining shares. The magazine did not reveal its sources in its report.
A person familiar with the talks – which have fascinated corporate Germany for days – confirmed that the deal as described was likely. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither Porsche nor Volkswagen has released any details of their talks or the deal itself.
A spokesman for Porsche declined to comment and Volkswagen did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
According to Spiegel, Stuttgart-based Porsche Automobil Holding SE would receive approximately euro8 billion from Volkswagen, a critical amount given that the company is trying to alleviate the debt it ran up as it increased its stake in Volkswagen to more than 51 percent, making it the biggest shareholder in Europe's biggest automaker by sales.