Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has donated protective equipment to clinic employees to the provincial health ministry to better equip health care facilities in Nelson Mandela Bay to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the company and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) set up a laboratory for molecular virology within 18 days and optimized the processes there to increase test capacities.
Volkswagen is expanding its footprint in Sub-Saharan Africa with the official opening of a vehicle assembly facility in Accra, Ghana. With this engagement, Ghana becomes the fifth Volkswagen vehicle assembly location in Sub-Saharan Africa; the other locations are in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda. Universal Motors Limited, a licensed Volkswagen importer since 2005, has been awarded the assembly contract for the initial phase of the project. The Universal Motors facility in Accra has an installed capacity to assembly 5, 000 units per annum. The models to be assembled using Semi Knocked Down (SKD) assembly kits are Tiguan, Teramont, Passat, Polo and Amarok.
The TRATON GROUP recorded lower unit sales, sales revenue, and earnings in the first six months of 2020 in the wake of the expected market downturn in Europe and the significant impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Unit sales recorded by the three brands Scania, MAN and Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus from January to June contracted by 37% to 77,700 (H1 2019: 123,300) vehicles. At 38%, the decline in unit sales of trucks (including the MAN TGE van) to 70,500 (H1 2019: 113,100) vehicles was more significant than the 29% decrease in unit sales of buses to 7,200 (H1 2019: 10,200) vehicles. The first six months of 2019 were marked by pull-forward effects from the introduction of the digital tachograph and the potential for a no-deal Brexit, making the prior-period comparative basis exceptionally strong.
Business at the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand was significantly impacted by the global Covid-19 pandemic in the first half of 2020. However, effective countermeasures reduced the impact of the crisis. Through strict cost management the brand substantially reduced its general overhead costs, expenditures for research and development and capex year-on-year. In addition, production was strictly oriented toward customer demand, leading to a considerable reduction in inventories compared with the prior-year period. Deliveries to customers by the core brand of the Volkswagen Group were down 26.7 percent in the first half of 2020 to 2.2 million vehicles. Sales revenue decreased by approximately EUR 16 billion (–35.3 percent) to around EUR 29 billion. As a consequence, the Volkswagen brand’s operating result before special items fell to EUR – 1.5 billion from an operating profit of EUR 2.3 billion in the previous year.
Business at the Volkswagen Group and its brands was strongly affected by the Covid-19 pan-demic in the first half of 2020. Countermeasures initiated at an early stage to reduce costs and safeguard liquidity were successful and therefore reduced the effects of the crisis. Due to production consistently oriented toward customer demand, the Group achieved a strin-gent inventory management and thus a significant decrease in funds tied up in working capital. Overall, net liquidity in the Automotive Division could be risen by EUR 0.9 billion compared with the first quarter of 2020 to EUR 18.7 billion, also due to the issuance of hy-brid notes amounting to EUR 3.0 billion. Deliveries to customers fell year-on-year by 27.4 percent to 3.9 (5.4) million vehicles. As a result, sales revenue decreased by 23.2 percent to EUR 96.1 (125.2) billion. Operating result before special items amounted to EUR –0.8 (10.0) billion. The main reason for this development was lower unit sales caused by the sharp fall in customer demand. The fair value measurement of derivatives to which hedge accounting is not applied (in particular commodity hedges) and exchange rate effects of EUR –0.9 billion are virtually offset by a non-cash gain of EUR 0.8 billion on the contribu-tion of Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) into the autonomous driving joint venture with Ford. Special items relating to the diesel issue weighed on the operating profit with EUR –0.7 (–1.0) billion. Earnings before tax decreased to EUR – 1.4 (9.6) billion.
TRATON SE has signed its inaugural syndicated revolving credit facility in a total amount of €3.75 bn. The facility has a maturity of 3 years and can be extended twice for one year each (“3+1+1” years). The facility amount is provided by a consortium of 21 banks, thereby defining TRATON GROUP’s core relationship banks. The facility can be drawn in different currencies and serves for general corporate purposes and liquidity back-up to the Group, providing TRATON with additional financial flexibility at favorable terms.
Volkswagen is supporting the construction and operation of a free programming school in Wolfsburg. The association called “Verein 42Wolfsburg e.V.” is setting up an IT hotbed called “42Wolfsburg” in cooperation with the private, nonprofit École 42 based in France. It is planned to open the coding school in Markthalle Wolfsburg in early 2021. Volkswagen will be donating €3.7 million in the first year, and a further two million euros annually in the following years. Next year, up to 600 students are already expected to be training in Wolfsburg’s Markthalle under an innovative learning concept with no teachers or formal classes. They will learn their skills under a peer-learning concept.
Volkswagen is to offer its workforce voluntary corona tests and will be setting up walk-through containers to collect samples at its German locations. The company is thus doing its best to prevent the effects of a renewed outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) and making a further contribution toward protecting against the spread of the virus. “For Volkswagen, protecting the health of our colleagues continues to have the highest priority. In the event of a possible second wave of corona, we want to be as best prepared as possible with this testing capability”, Board Member for Human Resources, Gunnar Kilian, said. “The aim is to identify cases of infection very early and systematically prevent the virus from spreading any further. That is fundamental to protecting the health of the workforce and avoiding the threat of another lockdown.” Currently, the infection status at Volkswagen AG is at a good level.
Volkswagen, together with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and integration partner Siemens, is opening up the Industrial Cloud to other manufacturing and technology companies. New partner companies will be able to connect with Volkswagen plants and to contribute their own software applications for optimizing production processes to the Industrial Cloud. This way, a rapidly growing range of industrial software applications for Volkswagen’s plants will be created. Each location will be able to obtain applications for its machinery, tools and equipment direct from the Industrial Cloud to optimize production (app store approach). The Volkswagen Group expects significant efficiency and productivity gains at its plants. The partner companies will be able to scale and further develop their applications in one of the world’s largest automobile production networks. This will also enable them to optimize their own processes and products. As a first step, eleven pioneering international companies, ABB, ASCon Systems, BearingPoint, Celonis, Dürr, GROB-WERKE, MHP, NavVis, SYNAOS, Teradata and WAGO, will be joining the Industrial Cloud.
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