A few auto brands managed to turn a profit last year, though not necessarily by selling more cars, John Reed and Daniel Schäfer report. Porsche's profits exceeded its revenues, for example, but
it earned the bulk of its money from trading shares in Volkswagen. The fact that VW is now almost under Porsche's control bodes well for the future, analysts say, as it can pool R&D and regulatory
costs of its higher-CO2 line-up with those of a mass-market carmaker.
Audi, VW's premium brand, reported a 0.4% rise in its global sales in November "on the strength of a youthful,
well-reviewed model line-up that has allowed it to take market share," Reed and Schäfer point out.
Niche sports car brand Lotus, meanwhile, reported a £2 million profit largely
due to growth at Lotus Engineering, which is developing and selling advanced technologies to other carmakers.
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