A lot can change in a week. Just ask Volkswagen.
Europe’s largest carmaker was nobody’s idea of a trendy stock a week ago.
Volkswagen (VLKAF) went even further on Tuesday, saying it would sell more than 2 million electric vehicles by 2025, hire 6,500 coding experts over the next five years, launch its operating system and become Europe’s second-biggest software company behind SAP (SAP).
It was quite the flurry of announcements, and it resonated with investors: Volkswagen’s leading shares in Frankfurt increased by nearly 20% last week, bringing its 2021 gains to 45%. Meanwhile, its less-liquid ordinary shares are up 65%, even with a sharp decline on Friday.
US retail traders got in on the action, too, sending the company’s thinly traded American depositary receipts (ADR) up dramatically. ADRs allow investors to buy and sell foreign stocks on US exchanges.
Volkswagen has been clear about the vast scale of its electric ambitions — it’s investing €35 billion ($42 billion) in the technology — which makes the timing of the stock surge challenging to explain fully.
Call it the Tesla effect: The electric carmaker run by Elon Musk has a market value of roughly $625 billion, compared to $170 billion for Volkswagen. Tesla sold around 500,000 cars last year, while Volkswagen delivered 9.3 million.
But Volkswagen is now becoming more like Tesla in the ways that investors care about most. Tesla could be matched sale-for-sale by
According to analysts at UBS, Volkswagen, as early as 2022, predicts Audi and Porsche’s owner will go on to sell 300,000 more electric vehicles than Tesla in 2025.
Volkswagen’s tech ambitions matter even more. It is pushing hard to upgrade its software capabilities and revealed that the first wireless updates are coming to the ID.3 this summer.