Group Management Report

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Summary of expected developments

Our planning is based on the assumption that global economic output will continue to grow in 2022, albeit at a somewhat lower level overall, after the recovery observed in the past fiscal year – provided that the Covid-19 pandemic does not flare up again and that shortages of intermediates and commodities become less intense. We continue to believe that risks will arise from protectionist tendencies, turbulence in the financial markets and structural deficits in individual countries. In addition, growth prospects will be negatively impacted by ongoing geopolitical tensions and conflicts, with risks arising especially from the Russia-Ukraine conflict. We anticipate that both the advanced economies and the emerging markets will experience positive momentum.

The trend in the automotive industry closely follows global economic developments. We assume that competition in the international automotive markets will intensify further.

We predict that trends in the markets for passenger cars in the individual regions will be mixed in 2022. Overall, the global volume of new vehicle sales is expected to be moderately up on the prior year without reaching the pre-pandemic level. This prediction assumes that the Covid-19 pandemic does not flare up again and that shortages of intermediates, especially semiconductors, and commodities become less intense. For 2022, we anticipate that the volume of new passenger car registrations in Western Europe will be distinctly above that recorded in the reporting period. In the German passenger car market, we expect the volume of new registrations in 2022 to also distinctly exceed the prior-year figure. Sales of passenger cars in 2022 are expected to moderately exceed the prior-year figures in markets in Central and Eastern Europe – subject to the further development of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Sales volume in the markets for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (up to 6.35 tonnes) in North America in 2022 is forecast to be slightly higher than the previous year’s level. We anticipate a moderate increase overall in new registrations in the South American markets in 2022 compared with the previous year. The passenger car markets in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to be slightly up on the prior-year level in 2022.

Trends in the markets for light commercial vehicles in the individual regions will also be mixed; on the whole, we anticipate a slight increase in the sales volume for 2022. This assumes that the Covid-19 pandemic does not flare up again and that shortages of intermediates, especially semiconductors, and commodities become less intense.

For 2022, we expect a significantly positive development in new registrations for mid-sized and heavy trucks with a gross weight of more than six tonnes compared with the previous year, with variations from region to region, in the markets that are relevant for the Volkswagen Group. A pronounced increase in overall demand, with regional variations, is expected for 2022 in the bus markets relevant for the Volkswagen Group.

We anticipate that automotive financial services will continue to prove highly important to global vehicle sales in 2022.

We believe we are well prepared overall for the future challenges pertaining to automotive business activities and for the mixed development of the regional automotive markets. Our brand diversity, our presence in all major world markets, our broad and selectively expanded product range, and our technologies and services put us in a good competitive position worldwide. As part of the transformation of our core business, we are positioning our Group brands with an even stronger focus on their individual characteristics, and are optimizing our vehicle and drive portfolio. The focus is primarily on our vehicle fleet’s carbon footprint and on the most attractive and fastest-growing market segments. In addition, we are working to leverage the advantages of our multibrand Group even more effectively with the ongoing development of new technologies and the enhancement of our toolkits. With electric drives, digital connectivity and autonomous driving, we want to make the automobile cleaner, quieter, more intelligent and safer. We have set ourselves the goal of continuing to excite our customers in the future and meeting their diverse needs with an appealing product portfolio of impressive vehicles and forward-looking, tailor-made mobility solutions.

We anticipate that, given the continuing challenging market conditions, deliveries to customers of the Volkswagen Group in 2022 will be 5 % to 10 % up on the previous year. This assumes that the Covid-19 pandemic will not flare up again and that shortages of intermediates and commodities will become less intense. The 2022 fiscal year will continue to be affected by shortfalls in supply due to the structural shortage of semiconductors. We anticipate that the supply of semiconductors will improve in the second half of the year, compared with the first half.

Challenges will arise particularly from the economic situation, the increasing intensity of competition, volatile commodity and foreign exchange markets, securing supply chains and more stringent emissions-related requirements.

We expect the sales revenue of the Volkswagen Group and of the Passenger Cars Business Area in 2022 to be 8 % to 13 % higher than the prior-year figure. In terms of operating result for the Group and the Passenger Cars Business Area, we forecast an operating return on sales in the range of 7.0 % to 8.5 % in 2022. For the Commercial Vehicles Business Area, we anticipate an operating return on sales of 5.0 % to 7.0 % amid a strong year-on-year increase in sales revenue, including Navistar. In the Power Engineering Business Area, we expect sales revenue to be moderately above the prior-year figure and the operating result to be in the low triple-digit million euro range. For the Financial Services Division, we forecast that sales revenue will be noticeably higher than the prior-year figure and that the operating result will be around €4.5 billion.

In the Automotive Division, we expect the R&D ratio to come in at around 7 % and the ratio of capex to sales revenue at around 5.5 % in 2022. For 2022, we anticipate that cash outflows resulting from the diesel issue will rise and mergers and acquisitions will be on a level with the previous year. Including any cash outflows in connection with the EU antitrust proceedings against Scania, we expect the net cash flow to be in the same range as in the previous year. In 2022, net liquidity in the Automotive Division is anticipated to be up to 15 % higher than the prior-year figure. We expect the return on investment (ROI) to be between 12 % and 15 %. Our declared goal remains unchanged, namely to continue with our robust liquidity policy.

The basis of our success are skilled and dedicated employees. We aim to boost their satisfaction and motivation by means of equal opportunities, an attractive and modern working environment, a forward-looking approach to the organization of work and targeted advanced training programs. We aim for operational excellence in all business processes and plan our actions so that, every day, we exercise responsibility in issues relating to the environment, safety and society. In terms of integrity, Volkswagen aims to become a role model for a modern, transparent and successful enterprise.