In 2009, the Volkswagen Investor Relations team informed analysts and investors in all the major global financial centers about the business development of the Volkswagen Group and its individual brands comprehensively and in a timely manner. To this end, the team organized and conducted a total of more than 400 roadshows, conferences, presentations and one-on-one discussions worldwide. Scheduled conference calls were held to explain the quarterly results, which were also broadcast on the Internet. In addition, some events were held together with Group Treasury.
The team was also available to answer investor questions about the Volkswagen Group and Volkswagen’s shares at numerous events organized specially for our private shareholders – often in conjunction with shareholders’ associations. Several awards received in 2009 confirmed the high quality and relevance of our investor relations activities.
Compared with 2008, the number of visits to the Investor Relations website continued to increase in the reporting period. The Investor Relations section recorded the most visits in December at 453,000, and the average visit lasted 45 minutes. In total, the Investor Relations website had over 1.7 million visits in 2009. This confirms the growing importance of online media for disseminating information to investors.
HIGHLIGHTS IN THE INVESTOR RELATIONS CALENDAR
Ahead of the Annual Media Conference and Investor Conference, analysts, investors and bank representatives had the opportunity on March 11, 2009 to take a first-hand look at new developments of the Volkswagen Group: at the Ehra-Lessien test track in Lower Saxony, 24 models of the Volkswagen Group were available for individual test drives. The focus was in particular on forward-looking, fuel-efficient models. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, member of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, gave a talk on the future of drive technologies. Board members Frank Witter and Frank Fiedler from Volkswagen Financial Services AG explained the interconnection with finance in a paper on the significance of financial services in the automotive business.
On March 12, 2009, our investors and analysts received comprehensive information on the results of the 2008 fiscal year and other market developments at the Annual Investor Conference held at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg.
Deutsche Bank’s German Corporate Conference on June 24, 2009 in Frankfurt am Main offered the Volkswagen Group the opportunity to outline its strategic goals for profitable growth even in a difficult economic environment. The topics covered included the growing importance of emerging markets as production locations and sales markets, the trend toward vehicles from smaller segments and sustainability focused on alternative fuel and engine technologies.
Communication in 2009 centered on the roadmap of Volkswagen and Porsche to becoming an integrated automotive group. A conference call on August 14 with CFO Hans Dieter Pötsch marked the start of a comprehensive information dialog on the merger concept for the two companies.
Another highlight of the past fiscal year was the Volkswagen Group Night “Via Vision – Ways into the future” held ahead of the 63rd International Motor Show in Frankfurt am Main on September 14, 2009. Around 2,000 national and international media representatives, analysts and investors experienced a unique range of premieres at this event. The motto of the evening was that a successful group has the answer to all mobility issues, and the nine brand chairmen presented their latest models and ground-breaking technologies. Chairman of the Board of Management Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn explained in his address that the Volkswagen Group knew better than any other automobile manufacturer how to meet the wishes of drivers both today and in the future. He emphasized that the future belonged to sustainable, low-emission mobility.
Investor Relations activities in 2010 will also focus on strategy and product presentations with the participation of the members of the Board of Management and the management of the Volkswagen Group. The preparation and implementation of the planned capital increase at Volkswagen AG is particularly relevant in this regard. In addition, the ongoing progress in the creation of an integrated automotive group with Porsche will feature highly on the communications agenda for 2010.