Report: Volkswagen to Begin Distancing From Lamborghini
More evidence has surfaced that Volkswagen Group may be on the cusp of relieving itself of some of its less-profitable subsidiaries. Following news of a November board meeting that would help decide the fate of numerous ultra-premium brands, rumor has it that VW is currently working out ways to give Lamborghini more autonomy and open the door for supply deals that could foreshadow it being listed on the stock market.
Additionally, the automaker’s supervisory board has already reportedly met to discuss the future of Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and its Ducati motorcycle arm. Discussions were said to include how to electrify the more sporting nameplates via industrial partnerships and procuring investment dollars. Some of these deals are already in the early stages, according to Reuters, with a possible IPO for the Italian supercar brand alleged to be moving forward at the time of this writing.
“Volkswagen is in the process of carving out Lamborghini, and to organize future supply and technology transfer deals,” one of the sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
It was then speculated that Lamborghini (currently a division of Audi) could be partially listed, with VW holding on to the lions share of stock to maintain control. But there has been “no formal decision to divest Lamborghini,” according to a secondary source, and no timetable for any of the arrangements suggested during the meeting.
“This is a first step which gives VW the option to list the unit further down the line,” they said.
Volkswagen is reviewing what role its high-performance brands Lamborghini, Bugatti and Ducati will play within the multi-brand carmaker as part of broader quest for more economies of scale, senior executives told Reuters.
A global clampdown on combustion-engined vehicles has forced automakers to accelerate development of low-emission technology for mainstream models, leaving Volkswagen managers struggling to find resources to electrify low-volume sportscar models.
That will undoubtedly be touched upon again in November and Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess has suggested big changes will be announced before year’s end. Meanwhile, we’ve heard talk that Croatian supercar firm Rimac Automobili may already be in the process of scooping up Bugatti for itself with VW’s blessing.
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Bugatti was always a money losing vanity project, so it’s eventual demise/sale is predictable, Why VW needs a motorcycle brand was always a mystery, and deserves to be sold. With respect to Lamborghini, VW is probably just looking at the market cap of Ferrari and sees the ability to unlock “shareholder value”, as they say in the investment bakers pitch book. Bentley should be kept to highlight the electric car prowess of VW - it’s hard to see a segment better suited to electrify.
These were all Piëch's vanity projects, so it would make sense to spin them off. I'm surprised it took this long, but I guess the dieselgate and its related mess required all of VW's attention. I can see them keeping Bentley if only to have something to compete with the Rolls-Royce and the Mercedes-Maybach. I'm not sure VW's ego will allow Munich and Stuttgart to have all the nice cars.