STRATEGIC ANALYSIS OF PORSCHE
With reference to relevant literature, critically discuss the role of swot analysis
in strategic planning.
Strategic planning describes the process a business uses to determine how it can
best meet its objectives and carry out a mission. Swot analysis is planning tool that
can help managers evaluate the chances that a certain project will succeed. It is
defined as an analysis of the internal and external factors performed as part of
developing the organizational strategy.
The term “SWOT” is an acronym for the words ”strengths”, “weaknesses”, ”threats”
and “opportunities”. The swot analysis is the key stage in strategic planning for
flushing out that major strategic issue to be addressed such as in this case. Porsche
being founded in 1931 by Professor Ferdinand Porsche a legendary engineer in
motor vehicle development work and consulting services it’s has not been spared by
the effects of the economic recession. The notion that business does not operate in
a vacuum is a crucial fact in analyzing the environment in which Porsche operated.
An economic analysis of the recession depicts that in 2008, Porsche had been
exposed to external economic factors such as, high unemployment, more
conservative consumer spending, stringent emission standards and increased cost
of raw materials. Internally, economic related factors were aging product line,
introduction of Cayenne, Panamera and 911 (DeBalsi, 2011:01). Subsequently, the
strategic alliance with Volkswagen (VW) was imminent for the sharing of technology
and innovation to develop the SUV (Habib, Huffman, Mitchell & Rayess, 2012)
.These truly strategic issues are usually few in number, and huge in the importance
to the performance of Porsche. With these elephant like issues clearly identified a
swot analysis can be utilized. A swot analysis is a tool to assess the industry and to
develop strategies to remain competitive.
This is a simpler way to focus aspects of the company and business sector and to
organize the findings to evaluate the current status of the business, future prospects
and the economic climate. According to Rayess et al, 2012, a swot analysis
promotes critical and specific thinking to enhance strategic plans and objectives. The
work is not patchwork it involves a rigorous, comprehensive and very thorough
review of the enterprise capabilities and environmental challenges.
Use the swot analysis framework to evaluate factors within Porsche’s internal
and external environment.
Swot analysis is an essential strategic management tool; Porsche is a living tradition
of a profitable automotive manufacturer of luxurious high end car. The Porsche
elegance offers a comfortable and spacious blended car that is segmented as
luxurious high end car segment that is rich in style. The swot analysis is the result of
a jointly developed methodology and allows detecting the strengths and potentials of
Porsche. It is a learning process that forms a transition basis to Vw ownership can
be fostered. The table below is a depiction of the swot analysis for Porsche.
Table 1 shows the S.W.O.T analysis of Porsche.
SWOT ANALYSIS: PORSCHE
Exceptional brand visibility
1. High driving position which
provides a smoother driving
2. Powerful engine with 500hp @
6000 rpm with top speed on
3. Classy advertising
4. Cruze control which provides
smoother driving experience.
5. Engineering capabilities
6. Comfortable interiors.
1. Has been able to completely
capture huge potential in
emerging markets like, India.
2. Strong competition in premium
SUV markets means limited
3. Hire reliance on the US market
4. Not diversified
5. Small in size and revenue
compared to competitors
6. Unionized labor.
7. More agile than competitors
1. Leverage Porsche brand to
expand product line
2. Implement innovative features to
3. Increase in manufacturing units to
penetrate in domestic markets
4. Expand the market by well spread
distribution and servicing network
across the globe.
1. Government regulation and
2. Impending recession which may
decrease purchasing power of
3. Intense competition from
automobile giants catering to the
4. Declining core markets sales
5. Foreign currency fluctuations
In summary the swot analysis depicts why Porsche remained a profitable company
manufacturing luxury sports cars for more than 70 years. The reasons of success
are innovation, design and brand reputation. More so, a strategic alliance with VW
meant benefits from the synergy by helping other brands to improve their innovation,
manufacturing and quality. However, there has been a plethora of external and
internal pressures such as political changes in legislation in the US, cash flow
management problems and economic challenges. The vital challenge or threats for
Porsche was the change in regulations in the US on gas emissions of one car to be
less than 39mpg per car in 2020. Porsche will not be able to sell in the US unless
the law in enforced in 2020.
To consolidate the importance of swot analysis it can be concluded is that Porsche
has a strong manufacturing infrastructure in German thus it can brand equity to
introduce other product line.
With reference to the relevant theory, critically discuss how Porsche’s
competitive strategy is to change V’Ws ownership.
The car industry is characterized of overcapacity and very hard competition among
the manufacturers. Exclusively, some manufacturers focus on emotional values and
exclusiveness, they are called premium brands. The development of new entire
models is an expensive project and the cost of development of shared among other
brands. Since Porsche suffered from aging brands there was need to diversify and
extend the product line. However, extension of the product line had dire effects of
brand dilution since Porsche was exclusively known as a high performance sports
car (Cato, 2007)
In a statement the CEO of Porsche envisaged that, “We were working with
Volkswagen on the next generation of the Cayenne (which shared its structure with
the VW Touareg and Audi Q7) and I wanted a clear connection to safeguard
Porsche’s interests. We could not do this alone”. (Hutton, 2007) This shows that
Porsche needed to share knowledge and technology platforms with VW in order to
indulge in a brand extension. The acquiring of VW had many benefits to Porsche
however this meant alterations to the competitive strategy. While Porsche looked at
the VW takeover as a way to leverage synergies, Porsche and VW would exist as
two separate companies that would sit under a new holding company called Porsche
SE. This new organizational set up can be depicted with the organizational chart
Table 2 below shows the new organizational chart to be adopted by Porsche on
Porsche SEPorsche SE
VolkswagenVolkswagenPorsche AG 100%
Porsche AG 100%
Source: Porsche Annual Report 2009.
In reference to table 2 above, it shows that Porsche has to maintain its reputation
since it is a brand known for its high performance sports cars. Since the launch of
the Porsche 356 in June 1948, the brand has remained loyal to this ideal and
continues to produce vehicles known for their speed and manoeuvrability. Porsche is
a luxury brand marketed towards affluent consumers, primarily males, looking for a
fun car that makes a statement of youth, prosperity, and confidence.
Therefore, it is easy to see why Porsche brand loyalists might have had a problem
with the introduction of the Cayenne- an SUV built using traditional Porsche styling
and performance but combined with components promoting family, outdoor, and
transport activities. In other words, the Cayenne represents a brand extension that,
according to many enthusiasts, may have pushed the edges of the traditional
Porsche image a little too far.Porsche had a lot of problems during the 1990’s with
old fashioned production methods, few models and down turning sales.
In the year 2000 Porsche developed a SUV (sport utility vehicle) call Cayenne which
became a real success in North America. In 2005, Porsche bought 18.65% of the
shares in VW thus its ownership increased to 27.4 %. This ownership implies that
there is a close relation between VW and Audi. At that time VW controlled 99 % of
the shares in Audi. Porsche has also very loyal customers and there are several
Porsche clubs around the world. Porsche has never been stronger than it is today
could be also the fact that VW and Porsche’s histories were intimately intertwined.
The product portfolio has never been as wide as it is today and the company makes
high profits to its owner. It is likely that a wider cooperation in product development
between W and Porsche especially with Audi will be established in the future. In the
segment of sporty cars Porsche is a very strong and aggressive competitor.
Porsche’s brand name has established itself as a symbol of quality and style as well
as outmost technical skill and performance. It has managed to preserve its image as
a manufacturer of great sports cars for more than half a century. Porsches desire to
grow, however conflicts with its niche strategy. The first step in expanding beyond its
niche and thus increasing revenue was the recent introduction of the SUV. Further
growth would mostly require Porsche to leave its niche even more endangering the
image that has built over the decades. Thus it is crucial for Porsche to make a good
strategic decision as to whether the risks of expansion in the sedan market are
justified when the company’s core market is put at stake. Moreover, its competitive
strategy needs to be reviewed and reevaluated in the light of dire need to grow and
decide whether expansion of the product lines would be more profitable for the
Porsche quickly became aware of several other problems associated with the
preparation and introduction of their first SUV. Online brand communities, such as
Rennlist, suddenly became combat zones for Cayenne supporters to contest the
many complaints made by disappointed Porsche owners who thought the SUV’s
introduction marked the end of Porsche as they knew it. Porsche loyalists
complained about the authenticity of the brand after it became apparent that the
Cayenne was a product of many different countries and only the final assembly.
An imminent fact was that Porsche’s had began getting compared to SUVs made by
companies such as Hyundai and Volkswagen rather than their usual niche of BMW
and Maserati which means that the customers perception about the Porsche brand
had been altered. Porsche’s takeover of VW was seen by many as a wise move for
the small, independent car company that, unlike rival brands Jaguar, Ferrari,
Lamborghini, and Lotus, had managed to avoid being gobbled up by the auto
industry’s giants the likes of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford. There was,
however, a key strategic question about Porsche’s acquisition of VW that was not
receiving a lot of press: A matter of concern was the whether the long-term stability
of Porsche’s engineering and design prowess was at risk by bringing VW “in-house”.
Since change was crucial considerations were to be given on moving from the
generic differentiation strategy to cost based one. Engineering and design were
considered the hallmarks of Porsche’s competitive advantage, and rather than
keeping its R&D under tight wraps, Porsche shared its R&D team of 2,300 engineers
with outside companies, and had built a lucrative engineering services business
based on this model.
According to Okeson, 2001, who envisaged that through its 100% wholly-owned
customer engineering, development company, the Porsche Engineering Group
(PEG), Porsche made its wide-ranging expertise in the development and production
of vehicles available to clients from a variety of industries. PEG was considered
Porsche’s “secret weapon, enabling it to employ more engineers than if it worked
alone, giving it an edge in product development.” Porsche’s small size and market
niche made it easier for other auto manufacturers to trust that Porsche would not use
the technology knowledge attained through its engineering services division to
Bringing the R&D functions of the two firms too close together could potentially
weaken Porsche engineers’ sense of belonging and demotivate them. While Porsche
was a company that thrived on healthy profit margins, VW’s business model was all
about volume. Furthermore, if Porsche engineering was too closely associated with
the entire VW portfolio, the company could lose its ability to sell external engineering
to other automotive manufactures concerned that Porsche would be sharing
strategies and innovations with VW. The question facing Porsche’s senior leadership
was how to ensure that the integration of Vw did not negatively affect Porsche’s
outside engineering business and overall competitiveness.
Furthermore, forming closer ties with VW would also enable Porsche to benefit from
VW’s more fuel efficient technologies at a time when new emissions regulations
would come into effect. On a macro level by acquiring VW, Porsche was helping
protect itself from the ups and downs of the auto sector since it wasn’t going only to
operate in a niche market.The merger between Porsche and VW sparked concerns
whether the company will fall into a cultural demise which Daimler-Chrysler went
through. However, Porsche management was adamant that Porsche brand and
culture would remain well protected. In this light it was certain that Porsche was no
longer small, nimble carmaker focused solely on the luxury sports car market. With
VW under its wing Porsche would penetrate other untapped markets with
development and exquisite design of new car models. It is important to note that in a
capital intensive industry, efficient international expansion of production yields
greater economies of scale and increases market penetration. VW employs a
transnational strategy by modifying current models according to the demands in
international regions. Porsche however, employs a global strategy whereby it offers
the same models to the global village. VW’s ownership meant that it has to focus on
improved engineering and quality.
3.Using Porters Five Model of industry competition; critically discuss the
competitive dynamics within the industry in which Porsche competes.
Porter five forces analysis is a framework for industry analysis and business strategy
development. It populates upon industrial organization economics to derive five
forces that determine the competitive intensity and therefore attractiveness of a
market. Attractiveness in this context refers to the overall industry profitability. Three
of Porter’s five forces from external sources which can be also referred to as the
macro environment. These are horizontal competition, the threat of substitute
products or services, and the threat of new entrants. In contrast the remainder is
internal factors which are known with a general term micro environment these are
forces from vertical competition such as the bargaining power of suppliers and the
bargaining power of customers.
It is an inevitable desire for every company to compete effectively within the global
market. Porsche’s competitiveness does not depend only on the effectiveness of
brand visibility, customer loyalty, historical milestones and achievements but also
how it is out plays its rivals in the face of various competitive dynamics within the
The rapidly changing environments of the free markets dictate that companies fully
utilize their competitive advantages to remain a market leader. Management must
evaluate the opportunities and threats from the external environment in order to build
competitive strategy that take advantage of their strengths and to shore up its
weaknesses.Porters model is a logical and efficient process of developing coherent
strategy in light of environmental forces that are exposed to Porsche. Michael Porter
identified five forces that influence an industry. These forces are: (1) degree of rivalry
;( 2) threat of substitutes; (3) barriers to entry; (4) buyer power; and (5) supplier
power. For more on this framework proposed by Porter like other industries
operating under free market, capitalistic systems, viewing the automotive industry
through the lens of Porter’s Five Forces can be helpful in understanding the forces at
Applying Porters model to make a strategic qualitative evaluation of Porsche’s
competitive environment the following had been deducted. In any competitive
industry there are five basic forces at work that determine long-term industry
profitability. The collective strength of these five forces determines the potential for
firms in the industry to earn returns on investment in excess of opportunity cost of
3.1 Threats of Substitutes
The threat of substitutes to the automotive industry is fairly mild. Numerous other
forms of transportation are available, but none offer the utility, convenience,
independence, and value afforded by automobiles. The switching costs associated
with using a different mode of transportation, such as train, may be high in terms of
personal time (i.e., independence), convenience, and utility (e.g., luggage capacity),
but not necessarily monetarily (e.g., round trip train fare on would most likely be less
expensive than the cost of fuel consumed on a similar round trip, daily parking, car
insurance, and maintenance).The exception to this statement occurs in the global
urban areas with high population densities. In these areas, the substitutes available
(e.g., walking, mass transit, bicycles.) can be less costly than automobiles and thus
alternative modes of transportation are often preferred. Also, there are inherent
underlying social and cultural attitudes that keep people from owning automobiles in
some parts of the world. Many nations are not as spread out or as mobile as the
U.S.; they are constrained either by geography, race, class, or religion and the need
for personal transportation is not as great, yet.
The American dream of “a car [or two] in every garage” is not what the rest of the
world currently wants or needs. However, the marketing arms of the global
automotive manufacturers are certainly working very hard to change this paradigm,
and with unprecedented production volumes worldwide, all signs indicate that they
are succeeding. Most with the ability and means to own a vehicle, who live in a
society with the necessary infrastructure (e.g., roads and fueling stations), will do so.
Despite a number of new entries in recent years into the premium brand arena, entry
to the market requires substantial investment from an already established brand
hence it is unlikely that new competitors will threaten Porsche. Large economies of
scale are required to compete in the required price range quality level and production
differentiation is largely brand and history based. Loyalty to the Porsche brands is
high and switching costs are high. Distributions need to be achieved on a worldwide
scale. Consequently there are a limited number of suitable brands remaining who
could pose a threat to Porsche. The barriers to enter the automotive industry are
substantial. For a new company, the start-up capital required to establish
manufacturing capacity to achieve minimum efficient scale is prohibitive.
An automotive manufacturing facility is quite specialized and in the event of failure
could not be easily retooled. Although the barriers to new companies are substantial,
established companies are entering new markets through strategic partnerships or
through buying out or merging with other companies. In fact, the barriers to entry for
new (or different) markets may be quite low; in the 1980s, U.S. companies practically
invited Japanese makers into the U.S. by failing to offer quality vehicles in the lower
price markets. All of the large automotive companies have globalized and entered
foreign markets with varying degrees of success. In the newer, undeveloped markets
of Asia, Africa, and South America, the barriers to entry similarly exist. However, a
domestic start up, with local knowledge and expertise, has the potential to compete
in its home market against the global firms who are not yet well established there.
Such an operation, if successful, would surely be snatched up by one of the global
giants and incorporated into its fold.
3.3 Nature of Rivalry
In the traditional economic model, competition among rival firms derives profits to
zero, but competition is not perfect and firms are not unsophisticated passive price
takers. Rather firms strive for a competitive advantage over their rivals. The intensity
of rivalry among firms is measured by the industry concentration. The Concentration
ratio indicates the percentage of market share. Porsche competes in a market
segment where relatively few can compete.
Consumers who have a taste for exclusive premium brand like Porsche had many
alternatives to choose from since companies like BMW, Nissan, an General Motors
have each produced one or two cars comparable in price and performance to the
Porsche line, but there offerings do not present the prestige or variety of Porsche’s
emblem or full product line. The rivalry also depends on geographic location of the
market. Porsche is present in all important world markets, but core markets are
Europe, Japan and the US. One particular other market is China which has lower
levels of rivalry compared to the US or Europe. By Virtue of hostile competition there
are considerable number of rivals or models that consumers might consider when
evaluating premium sport brands other than Porsche are;
• Aston Martin V8 Vintage;
• Audi R8;
• BMW M6;
• Jaguar XKR;
• Lamborghini Gallardo and
• Maserati Granturismo.
The assessment of the rival’s shows that there is high rivalry in the entry/mid-level
market, entering this market range looks risky. In the high-level segment less rivalry,
as most opportunity and is more consistent with Porsche’s brand. The market is
highly competitive and social trends play a crucial on the brand perception.
3.4 Buyer power
Buyers have little transactional power. There is a significant increase as social
Porsche trends when customers make purchasing high performance vehicles seem
irresponsible, hence allowing buyers to repeat business is highly likely and demand
more environmentally each transaction is highly profitable) responsible features. •
Buyers face high switching costs, both price sensitivity is usually low (within factors,
and hence the effect in 3 years a given range) and buyers are usually should be low
(although it may affluent. compound further into the future). High substitutability is
the only empowering factor for buyers, who otherwise have little power in the
transaction. The Porsche brand is focused on wealthier people, upper-middle class
and upper class. However, there is no significant bargaining power, since they are
too fragmented (but also have several options to choose from). Many specific high-
end luxury models have waiting lists.
3.5 Supplier Bargaining Power
In the relationship between the automotive industry and its suppliers, the power axis
is substantially tipped in the industry’s favour. The automotive industry is composed
of powerful buyers who are generally able to dictate terms to their suppliers.
Although supplier products are vital to production, their transactional power over
Porsche is usually low. A large number of suppliers exist and compete on a
worldwide basis. Supplier products are not highly differentiated. Competition
between suppliers is high as a contract with Porsche represents a significant
opportunity. Switching costs between suppliers are low since many components are
produced by their vehicle manufacturer themselves.
In-dept- analysis of the labour markets shows that there is unionized European
labour has bargaining power. Smaller input suppliers and sub-contractors have little
bargaining power and are highly dependent on Porsche, well-working chain of
suppliers in place. Porsche is not vertically integrated (typically 20% of production for
sports cars and 10% for Cayenne). Large suppliers (such as VW), which provide
core components, could have great power. This is particularly relevant if Porsche
considers joint entry with another German manufacturer. Co-ownership of VW and
Porsche reduces potential to exercise bargaining power.
It will not be easy for Porsche to establish and sustain a good market position with
the current production capabilities, rivalry levels, limited differentiation possibilities
and established sedan brands (many of which also have a solid brand image such
as Mercedes, BMW, Audi, VW, Maserati, Jaguar, Lexus, and others). The profit
margins of the luxury sedan class cars are higher than that of lower- and middle-
class sedans. This is more in-line with Porsche’s high-margin strategy and the only
potential place Porsche could enter.
4. In seeking to become the leading automotive group globally, VW has
embarked on a strategy of national diversification; critically discuss VW’s
choice of strategy.
As the global automotive industry strives to achieve economies of scale and efficient
product launches, major automotive manufacturers are increasingly focus on
manufacturing a larger volume of passenger cars on select global platforms (core
platforms). These core platforms will be used to design and produce vehicles across
segments (by size and price range) and brands on a global scale. Emerging
economies such as China and South Asia, and South America will continue to
strongly influence car manufacturer’s strategies in the near future, affecting product
development, marketing, and manufacturing strategies.
Porsche has always expanded to international markets exclusively through
exportation a less expensive option as compared to green field ventures or
establishing new bases of operation. Inherent to multinational expansion are
increasingly complex economic and political risks. Porsche's strategy hedges against
such complexity by focusing solely of exportation rather than manufacturing
expansion, acquisition and licensing. With the exception of its contract with Valmet in
Austria for the Boxster/Cayman, Porsche produces all of its cars within its labour
union dominated, Bavarian borders. Porsche’s core competences and brand image,
and the premise of future growth strategies should be based on expansion/
penetration into new customer markets with their same product lines, instead of its
current strategy of diversification where Porsche entered the SUV and four sedan
However, other automakers, such as VW and GM, employ a transnational strategy
by modifying current models according to the demands in international regions.
Volkswagen is the forerunner in implementing a modular strategy for platforms and
uses common platforms for multiple brands as well as vehicles. For instance,
Volkswagen and Porsche share a platform for the Volkswagen Touareg and the
Porsche Cayenne Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV). The Volkswagen Group has a
presence in all important automotive markets around the world.
It is the goal of the Group to offer attractive, safe and environmentally sound vehicles
which are competitive and which set world standards in their respective classes. To
meet regional customer demand, purchasing power and to minimize currency risk a
clear focus on local production is adopted.
Volkswagen is represented in each important region with at least one plant this
allows the company to localise production and to offer model variations that answer
the different needs of our regional customers from China to North America, India and
Europe ( Fact book,2012:52). This has allowed for a vast national diversification
Figure 1, shows the manufacturing plants for Volkswagen per region.
Source: (Volkswagen Fact book, 2012:52)
Figure one above shows the locations of manufacturing plants owned by
Volkswagen in every region across the globe, this affirms the transitional strategy.
Volkswagen prides in flexible engineering architecture allows it a cost effective
production process which is achieved with the transfer of the toolkit principle to
production. The set up of the factory allows for highly flexibility, thus it can produce a
wide range of models and brands on the same production line.
Volkswagens strategy is fully transitional encompasses the expansion of brand and
product portfolio, realisation of cost savings, development of high-end modular
toolkit for luxury brands localisation of production to create sustainable value. In
future Volkswagen should consider the use of Porsche’s distribution network for
Volkswagen Group luxury brands. Volkswagen uses several common platforms
across its brands and vehicle segments. The group will launch 10 new platforms by
2018. These new platforms will include MQB, MHB, MLB, and a sports car platform.
To harness platform synergies, Volkswagen plans to produce majority of its new
models for all its brands on these four platforms. The group’s strategy is focused on
enhancing the utilization of mature platforms in the emerging markets such as China.
National diversification strategy also allows for the Volkswagens to focus on the local
needs that a state or region demands in terms of compliance to gas emissions, fuel
efficiency, speed limits, it also consider customisation requests from its customers.
5. It is increasingly accepted that companies can no longer act independently
of the societies and the environment in which they operate”
In seeking to attain competitive advantage at a global level, critically discuss the
need for VW to focus on the “triple bottom line” and to establish itself as a good
corporate citizen in all the countries in which it operates.
The financial success has long been accepted as the primary objective of corporate
existence. However, many social critics have questioned whether financial success
is enough. There are increasing demands that companies be good corporate citizens
as well. Organizations struggle to tell their stories, to communicate the good and
sometimes the bad that they do in the marketplace, in the community, to and for the
environment, and in society. Quite clearly, the challenge of telling the company’s
story is not being met by current corporate reporting practices.
Triple bottom-line (TBL) reporting, a term coined by John Elkington in his 1997 book
Cannibals with Forks: the Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business, aims to
remedy this shortcoming by explicitly considering not only the economic performance
of a firm but also the company’s environmental and social performance as well. An
increasingly popular practice is the issuance of a corporate responsibility or
According to Elkington, 1999, Triple Bottom Line (TBL) reporting is a form of
voluntary corporate reporting that melds the three aspects of economic, social and
environmental performance into one report Volkswagen faces challenges to their
responsible corporate citizenship that other companies in the automotive industry
face. The primary issue is that of greenhouse gas emissions and how the cars and
trucks they manufacture contribute to climate change. One would therefore expect
Volkswagen to set similar goals, follow aligned (Musikanski, 2008:03).
Volkswagen have previously reported at the A level in their first two G3 reports.
While VW disclosed information on 90% of the core performance indicators, there
were discrepancies between which indicators are reported. In their first G3 reports,
issued for 2007, VW reported on 70% common indicators (VW, 2008a). This
improved to 82% in their second iterations for 2009 (VW, 2008b). This improvement
should lead to greater comparability. However, even when a common goal is stated
(e.g. reduction of CO2), the scale of the reduction is not comparable.
Volkswagen does not set CO2 goals for its US or EU vehicles, but targets a 20%
reduction in fuel use and CO2 emissions in China (Volkswagen, 2008a, p.74).
Volkswagen (VW) is Europe’s number carmaker. With sales of over 6 million
vehicles, revenues of €109 million, and after-tax earnings of €4.1 million in 2007
(Volkswagen, 2008a), VW has managed to weather the difficult times faced by the
automotive industry and remain profitable. In contrast to its financial results, the
company has experienced what it characterizes as “highlights and lowlights” in its
perceived performance in terms of sustainability (Volkswagen, 2008a, pp. 76-77).
In 2006, VW rebounded by receiving the 2006 European Business Award for its
environmental performance and was named by J.D. Power as the top company in its
class in the U.S. market for environmental friendliness. In 2007, VW was included in
the FTSE4Good’s newly created Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index.
VW needs to be consistent in its triple bottom reporting to ensure comparability with
other players operating in the same industry. VW needs to set clear and specific
CO2 goals for the US and EU market because sustainability in the automobile
industry is more than just producing fuel-efficient cars, but integrating value-driving
sustainability concepts in the company’s business principles and strategy. VW needs
to adopt sustainability practices through accounting for environmental, social and
economic performance of its business operations. VW needs to adapt to various
environmental laws and regulations of various countries in which it has markets to
comply with the gas emissions.
Furthermore, VW needs to consider disclosing the following generic performance
Disclosure of the materials used by weight, volume and the percentage of materials
that can be recycled input materials.
Emissions, effluents and waste
Disclosure total direct and indirect green house gas emissions that are ozone
depleting. Other indirect greenhouse gas emissions by weight and initiatives in place
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the reductions achieved.
Disclosure of significant fines in monetary value and total number of non monetary
sanctions regarding non compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
5.2 Product responsibility
Products and services
Initiatives to mitigate environmental impacts of products and services and extent of
Monetary value of significant fines for noncompliance with laws and regulations
concerning the provision and use of products and services.
Total number of substantiated complaints regarding breaches of customer privacy
and losses of customer data.
Programs for adherence to laws ,standards and voluntary code related to marketing
communications, including advertising, promotion and sponsorship. Total number of
non compliance cases with regulations and voluntary codes concerning marketing
communications including advertising, promotion and sponsorship by type of
Disclosure of the nature ,scope and effectiveness of any programs and practices that
access and manage the impacts of operations on communities including entering,
operating and exiting.
Percentage and total number of business units analyzed for risks related to
corruption. Percentage of employees trained in organizations anti corruption policies
and procedure. The actions taken in response to incidents of corruption.
Public policy positions and participation in public policy development and lobbying.
The total value of financial and in kind contributions to political parties, politicians and
related institutions by country.
Anti Competitive Behavior
Total number of legal actions for anti competitive behavior, antitrust and monopoly
practices and their outcome
5.4 Human Rights
Investment and procurement policies
Percentage and total number of significant investment agreements that include
human rights clauses or that have under gone human rights screening. Percentage
of significant suppliers and contractors that have undergone screening on human
rights and actions taken. Total hours of employee training on policies and
procedures concerning aspects of human rights that are relevant to operations.
Total number of incidents of discrimination and actions taken.
Operations identified as having significant risk for incidents of child labor, and
measures taken to contribute to the elimination of child labor.
5.5 Labor practices & decent work
Total workforce by employment type, employment contract and resignation Total
number and rate of employee turnover by age group, gender and region. Benefits
provided to full time employees that are not provided to temporary or part time
employees by major operations
Training and Education
Average hours of training per year by employee category. Programs for skills
management and lifelong learning that support the continued employability of
employees and assist them in managing career endings Percentage of employees
receiving regular performance and career development reviews.
Diversity and equal opportunity
Composition of governance bodies and breakdown of employees per category
according to gender, age group, minority group membership and other indicators of
diversity. Gender balance ration of basic salary of men to women by employee
The notion that business does not operate in a vacuum applies to VW. The decision
to publish a TBL report should be driven primarily by the strategic direction of the
company and the need for competitive advantage from being transparent in reporting
TBL performance indicators. Management of these core factors is a core element of
overall enterprise strategy. In order for VW’s TBL reporting to drive maximum value it
is essential that the information reported aligns with business strategy, objectives
and accurately reflects the focus of company activity in these particular areas. This
serves to reinforce the importance of companies developing indicators in a
structured way that reflects their objectives and the requirements of key stakeholder
Finally, VW should ensure that verification of the TBL is done to provide assurance
about the reliability and integrity of the reporting process and to enhance credibility of
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accessed March 24, 2013
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