Where does VW stash its cash? Check under Audi's mattress

Volkswagen has denied reports that it wants to take over Fiat Chrysler, but if it does pull off a big acquisition, it will have Audi to thank.

Audi's net liquidity, effectively its war chest, jumped to 15.3 billion euros ($20.5 billion) at the end of June, versus $19.7 billion at the end of last year. Theoretically, this would be more than enough to pay the $12 billion for Fiat shares plus a 50 percent control premium.

And all that cash is generated without any material help from Audi's Chinese joint venture with FAW, impressive given that Audi sells nearly half a million cars in China alone -- more than a quarter of the brand's volume.

By comparison, Daimler's Mercedes-Benz cars, commercial trucks, vans and buses together suffered a $1.5 billion decrease in net liquidity to $17 billion during the same period.

BMW reported second-quarter results that showed surplus cash at its automotive segment dropped by $802 million during the first six months of this year. Its car business has a free cash flow not even half that of Audi's.

Volkswagen Group's consolidated cash statement, which includes Audi's contribution, shows net automotive liquidity of just $18.7 billion. This implies that the rest of the group would otherwise have posted a net debt of about $1.8 billion and highlights just how dependent VW is on Audi for the group's fortress balance sheet.



ATTENTION COMMENTERS: Over the last few months, Automotive News has monitored a significant increase in the number of personal attacks and abusive comments on our site. We encourage our readers to voice their opinions and argue their points. We expect disagreement. We do not expect our readers to turn on each other. We will be aggressively deleting all comments that personally attack another poster, or an article author, even if the comment is otherwise a well-argued observation. If we see repeated behavior, we will ban the commenter. Please help us maintain a civil level of discourse.

Email Newsletters
  • General newsletters
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Mondays)
  • (As needed)
  • Video newscasts
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Saturdays)
  • Special interest newsletters
  • (Thursdays)
  • (Tuesdays)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Wednesdays)
  • (Bimonthly)
  • Special reports
  • (As needed)
  • (As needed)
  • Communication preferences