GERMANY: Why Audi is VW's shining star
A5 Sportback was a recent addition to Audi model line
Audi is outpacing the Volkswagen Group's other brands and generated more than 85% of total operating profit in 2009, the company's full year accounts revealed.
Audi posted an operating profit of EUR1.6bn (US$2.2bn) while the VW brand generated profits one-third of that at EUR561m.
VW's finance division was the second biggest contributor to operating profit after Audi, posting EUR606m.
Audi generated its profits selling 950,000 cars while VW delivered 3.9m.
Analysts said that VW was not looking after its costs properly and that, without Audi's contribution, the group would not be profitable.
Some even suggested that the group, which has just bought a 20% stake in Suzuki, is now too big with VW, Skoda and SEAT competing for each others' sales.
VW is increasing production in Brazil, India and the US, countries where chairman Martin Winterkorn says it is under-represented as it targets becoming the world's top car group by 2018 with sales of over 10m vehicles a year.
The group is also developing more common vehicle architecture in an attempt to cut costs with the aim of building two thirds of all models from common parts.
The VW Group sold 6.29m vehicles in 2009 and made a net profit of EUR960m, down almost 80% on 2008. It reported sales of EUR105.2bn.