Prices on the commodity markets again remained volatile over the last fiscal year. It is not certain whether the oil price, which has been falling most recently, will stagnate in 2009 or whether the trend will reverse again, for instance as a result of an artificially created shortage. Volkswagen takes suitable steps to counter the risks of rising commodity prices: as well as strategically aligning our portfolio of suppliers, Procurement cooperates closely with the internal development department in order to continuously optimize the use of materials and increase utilization rates. Substituting traditional materials with alternatives that have been optimized for a specific usage is another core element of this strategy.
Against the background of the latest developments on international markets, Group Procurement has reoriented its risk management activities. It is now focusing on expanding the early-warning system for supplier crises. The aim is to be able to initiate suitable measures in good time to safeguard production in the event of individual suppliers becoming insolvent.