Saying that 2011 has been a very good year for the VW Group would be an understatement of huge proportions. Almost as huge as the 8.36 million sales the German group recorded in its best-ever year. Naturally, the man running the show should get a handsome award for this success, which brought its company to second place overall in worldwide sales. According to VW’s annual report, VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn earned €17.5 million (US$23 million) in salary, bonuses and profit incentives. That’s almost double the €9.3 million (US$12.2 million) he got in 2010, and according to Reuters, the higher payment for a CEO of any German company listed on the DAX index. Winterkorn wasn’t the only VW board member who got a raise: total compensation for all eight members of the VW Group board increased by 94.2 percent compared to 2010, to €70.6 million (US$92.9 million). While these numbers might seem quite staggering, it’s actually small change compared to the group’s 2011 net profit, which doubled from 2010’s €6.8 billion (US$8.9 billion) to €15.4 billion (US$20.2 billion). Consolidated operating profit rose to a record €11.3 billion (US$14.9 billion), an improvement of €4.1 billion compared with the previous year, while the VW Group’s sales climbed 14.7 percent to 8.36 million vehicles surpassing the figure of eight million vehicles for the first time.