2003 was a difficult year for Volkswagen. The European economy failed to deliver on hopes of consumer recovery, while the combination of higher costs and a weaker dollar pressured profitability. Hence, VW’s industrial Ebit fell 79% year-on-year, margins dropped to 1.1% and post capex cashflow was -€275m. But that’s old news.
Our bigger concern is that the outlook for 2004 is no better: management has said the first quarter will be “lousy” and that e