DETROIT -- Volkswagen AG Chief Financial Officer Hans Dieter Poetsch said on Sunday that Europe's largest automaker would see improved financial results in 2005 and then "a clear rise" in performance in 2006.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the North American International Auto Show, Poetsch also said that VW was on track to hit all targets in its "ForMotion" efficiency drive. Poetsch said he expected further weakness in the U.S. dollar this year, but he said the company's currency hedging program would remain about the same as in 2004.
Poetsch also said he expected "negligible" impact on VW's financial results from high raw materials prices in 2005.
After stripping away excess fat of well over 1 billion euros ($1.32 billion) in 2004, Volkswagen's goal through its cost-cutting "ForMotion" program is to save 3.1 billion euros in 2005.
"We will reach this," Poetsch told reporters.
Earlier on Sunday, Volkswagen said its worldwide sales of vehicles rose 1.3 percent in 2004 to 5.079 million units as growth in South America helped offset slowdowns in North America and Asia.
VW had lowered its 2004 earnings guidance by 600 million euros to a worst-case scenario of 1.9 billion euros in operating profits before special items. Poetsch said there had been no change in the current guidance.