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VW drives home advantage with stellar results

VW, the family-controlled automaker, continues to outpace Porsche, its smaller rival owned by a different branch of the same family, ahead of their proposed merger next year.

VW announced its results for H1 2010, the highlight being profits after tax of €1.8 billion. The Germany-based company, Europe's largest automobile manufacturer, also increased its global market share to 12%.

"First-half earnings were clearly in excess of our expectations", Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn, VW's non-family chairman who is also CEO of Porsche SE, said in a statement. "We shall systematically extend our competitive position on the way to becoming the world's leading automaker."

Although the latest available figures for the privately-owned Porsche Group show an operating result of €0.6 billion for the first nine months of 2009/10 financial year and a revenue increase of 12% percent to €5.2 billion, there is much less to be bullish about.

The company is still saddled with huge debts following the failed attempt by chairman Wolfgang Porsche to take over VW. Ferdinand Piech (pictured), chairman of VW's supervisory board and Wolfgang Porsche's cousin, ended up buying half of Porsche's sport's car business and initiating the merger. (Continue reading here)

In addition, Porsche is facing a range of lawsuits relating to the failed takeover. In January US four hedge funds announced they were suing Porsche and two non-family former executives of lying over its intentions towards VW. (Continue reading here)

Both Wolfgang Porsche and Ferdinand Piech are grandsons of Porsche's founder, Ferdinand Porsche.

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