Big Data

Big data is a term used to describe new ways of analyzing and evaluating data volumes that are too vast and too complex to be processed using manual or conventional methods.

Capitalization ratio

The capitalization ratio is defined as the ratio of capitalized development costs to total research and development costs in the Automotive Division. It shows the proportion of primary research and development costs subject to capitalization.


Adherence to statutory provisions, internal company policies and ethical principles.

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

Burning this compressed natural gas releases approximately 25% less CO2 than petrol because of its low carbon and high energy content.

Corporate Governance

International term for responsible corporate management and supervision driven by long-term value added.

Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG)

Gearbox that consists of two gearboxes with a dual clutch and so combines the agility, driving pleasure and low consumption levels of a manual gearbox with the comfort of an automatic.

Distribution ratio

The distribution ratio is the ratio of total dividends attributable to ordinary and preferred shares to earnings after tax attributable to the shareholders of Volkswagen AG. The distribution ratio provides information on how earnings are distributed.

Dividend yield

The dividend yield is the ratio of the dividend for the reporting year to the closing price per share class on the last trading day of the reporting year; it represents the interest rate earned per share. The dividend yield is used in particular for measuring and comparing shares.

Driving Cycles

Levels of fuel consumption and exhaust gas emissions for vehicles registered in Europe were previously measured on a chassis dynamometer with the help of the “New European Driving Cycle (NEDC)”. Since fall 2017, the existing test procedure for emissions and fuel consumption used in the EU is being gradually replaced by the Worldwide Harmonized Light-Duty Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). This has been in place for new vehicle types since fall 2017 and will apply to all new vehicles from fall 2018. The aim of this new test cycle is to state CO2 emissions and fuel consumption in a more practice-oriented manner. A further important European regulation is the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, which also monitors emissions using portable emission measuring technology in real road traffic.

Equity ratio

The equity ratio measures the percentage of total assets attributable to shareholders’ equity as of a reporting date. This ratio indicates the stability and financial strength of the company and shows the degree of financial independence.

Gross margin

Gross margin is the percentage of sales revenue attributable to gross profit in a period. Gross margin provides information on profitability net of cost of sales.

Hybrid drive

Drive combining two different types of engine and energy storage systems (usually an internal combustion engine and an electric motor).

Hybrid notes

Hybrid notes issued by Volkswagen are classified in their entirety as equity. The issuer has call options at defined dates during their perpetual maturities. They pay a fixed coupon until the first possible call date, followed by a variable rate depending on their terms and conditions.

Industry 4.0

Describes the fourth industrial revolution and the systematic development of real-time and intelligent networks between people, objects and systems, exploiting all of the opportunities of information technology along the entire value added chain. Intelligent machines, inventory systems and operating equipment that independently exchange information, trigger actions and control each other will be integrated into production and logistics at a technical level. This offers tremendous versatility, efficient resource utilization, ergonomics and the integration of customers and business partners in operational processes throughout the entire value chain.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

LNG is needed so that natural gas engines can be used in long-distance trucks and buses, since this is the only way of achieving the required energy density.

Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB)

The modular system is being developed for the manufacturing of electric vehicles. The MEB establishes parameters for axles, drive systems, high-voltage batteries, wheelbases and weight ratios to ensure a vehicle optimally fulfills the requirements of e-mobility. The first vehicle based on the MEB should go into series production in 2020.

Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB)

As an extension of the modular strategy, this platform can be deployed in vehicles whose architecture permits a transverse arrangement of the engine components. The modular perspective enables high synergies to be achieved between the vehicles in the Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Audi, SEAT and ŠKODA brands.

Plug-in hybrid

Performance levels of hybrid vehicles. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have a larger battery with a correspondingly higher capacity that can be charged via the combustion engine, the brake system, or an electrical outlet. This increases the range of the vehicle.

Price-earnings ratio

The price-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing the share price per share class at the end of the year by the earnings per share. It reflects a company’s profitability per share; a comparison over several years shows how its performance has developed over time.


Systematic assessment of companies in terms of their credit quality. Ratings are expressed by means of rating classes, which are defined differently by the individual rating agencies.

Return on equity before tax

The return on equity shows the ratio of profit before tax to average shareholders’ equity of a period, expressed as a percentage. It reflects the company’s profitability per share and indicates the interest rate earned on equity.

Return on sales before tax

The return on sales is the ratio of profit before tax to sales revenue in a period, expressed as a percentage. It shows the level of profit generated for each unit of sales revenue. The return on sales provides information on the profitability of all business activities before deducting income tax expense.

Tax rate

The tax rate is the ratio of income tax expense to profit before tax, expressed in percent. It shows what percentage of the profit generated has to be paid over as tax.

Turntable concept

Concept of flexible manufacturing enabling the production of different models in variable daily volumes within a single plant, as well as offering the facility to vary daily production volumes of one model between two or more plants.

Vocational groups

For example, electronics, logistics, marketing, or finance. A new teaching and learning culture is gradually being established by promoting training in the vocational groups. The specialists are actively involved in the teaching process by passing on their skills and knowledge to their colleagues.

Zero-Emissions Vehicle (ZEV)

Vehicles that operate without exhibiting any harmful emissions from combustion gases. Examples of zero-emissions vehicles include purely battery-powered electric vehicles (BEV) or fuel cell vehicles.