Volkswagen has revealed record profits for 2008, but warned that it is expecting a dramatic fall in profit this year.
Despite this, the VW Group has pledged it will not slash investment in environmental technology despite the current global car sales slump.
Group chairman Dr Martin Winterkorn confirmed this morning that the firm made €6.3bn (£4.4bn) in post-tax profits in 2008, a rise of almost 14 per cent. But he insisted that investment in new, cleaner products remains key to the company's future success.
Winterkorn said, "The Volkswagen Group remains committed to the goals it has set for 2018 [linked to economic growth and environmental responsibility]. Innovative and environmentally friendly products will continue to be the key to the company’s future."
"You can only prepare for life after the current period if you keep your innovation activities running at top speed," he added.
Along with many car manufacturers, the VW Group enjoyed strong sales in the first three quarters of 2008, before suffering a dramatic drop-off in sales at the tail end of the year.
VW Group sales figures
VW Group sales by company