VW Group Shoots Down $9 Billion Lamborghini Bid

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Lamborghini has changed hands more than a few times since it was founded as a way to show up Ferrari in 1963. It’s currently owned by Volkswagen Group, which recently made it clear that it has no intention of selling the brand.

The Anglo-Swiss Quantum Group reportedly made an offer to buy the raging bull from VW for an appetizing €7.5 billion ($9.16 billion USD), including a five-year deal where it would continue sourcing parts from Audi — as there’s basically no way around it without nuking the present lineup. The proposal was made earlier in the month with Volkswagen Group giving the newly established holding company a prompt no.

Lamborghini has become far too profitable to consider selling — especially since its profits grew to a lofty $1.96 billion in 2019, despite the company having manufactured fewer than 8,000 automobiles. Volkswagen would have effectively been selling a golden goose. Though Quantum Group’s deal still looks good on paper and there were rumors that VW was looking to offload the supercar brand a few months ago.

In addition to the payout, the deal called for a partnership relating to the sharing of intellectual property and electric vehicle technology. According to Autocar, there was also to be an “Advanced Automotive Innovation Centre” located in Germany’s Lower Saxony focusing on the shared development and production of battery cells and battery packs. The holding company similarly wanted to develop autonomous systems and alternative fueling solutions, all of which would have allegedly benefited Volkswagen Group. The deal even vowed to maintain all existing Lamborghini jobs for at least five years, with a promise to add roughly 850 new positions via the planned R&D center.

From Autocar:

Quantum Group AG is represented in the acquisition offer for Lamborghini by Rea Stark, a co-founder of Piech Automotive[sic], the Zurich-based company behind the Piëch Mark Zero GT revealed at the 2019 Geneva motor show.

Also among Piëch Automotive executives are Anton Piëch, son of former Volkswagen Group chairman Ferdinand Piëch, and ex-Porsche CEO Matthias Müller. However, it is not known at this stage if they are involved in the acquisition offer.

The acquisition of Automobili Lamborghini, including its storied Sant’Agata manufacturing headquarters in Italy as well as its motorsport operations, is claimed to be central to the investment interests of Quantum Group AG, which is seeking discussions with the Volkswagen Group as a formal step towards carrying out initial due diligence on the company.

Beyond the list of familiar names, none of the above matters since the deal has been struck down by Volkswagen. Though it remains curious as to why such a comprehensive proposal was put together in the first place if VW was serious when it denied that Lamborghini was on the market in December of 2020.

[Image: Grisha Bruev/Shutterstock]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Jack4x Jack4x on May 27, 2021

    "ts profits grew to a lofty $1.96 billion in 2019, despite the company having manufactured fewer than 8,000 automobiles." That's like a quarter million per car. They must sell a lot of merchandise.

  • Stuki Stuki on May 27, 2021

    And another one almost bit the dust.... Little screams systemic decay, like a gaggle of know-nothing, can-nothing clueless monkeys on central bank welfare, using imaginary funds central banks stole for them to take control of yet another once-was-capable-of-something-worthvile entity. There may not be much left of VW, but they still do have at least a few employees left, who can read and stuff. Which puts them orders of magnitude ahead of any "newly established holding company" in existence anywhere.

  • Dave M. IMO this was the last of the solidly built MBs. Yes, they had the environmentally friendly disintegrating wiring harness, but besides that the mechanicals are pretty solid. I just bought my "forever" car (last new daily driver that'll ease me into retirement), but a 2015-16 E Class sedan is on my bucket list for future purchase. Beautiful design....
  • Rochester After years of self-driving being in the news, I still don't understand the psychology behind it. Not only don't I want this, but I find the idea absurd.
  • Douglas This timeframe of Mercedes has the self-disintegrating engine wiring harness. Not just the W124, but all of them from the early 90's. Only way to properly fix it is to replace it, which I understand to be difficult to find a new one/do it/pay for. Maybe others have actual experience with doing so and can give better hope. On top of that, it's a NH car with "a little bit of rust", which means to about anyone else in the USA it is probably the rustiest W124 they have ever seen. This is probably a $3000 car on a good day.
  • Formula m How many Hyundai and Kia’s do not have the original engine block it left the factory with 10yrs prior?
  • 1995 SC I will say that year 29 has been a little spendy on my car (Motor Mounts, Injectors and a Supercharger Service since it had to come off for the injectors, ABS Pump and the tool to cycle the valves to bleed the system, Front Calipers, rear pinion seal, transmission service with a new pan that has a drain, a gaggle of capacitors to fix the ride control module and a replacement amplifier for the stereo. Still needs an exhaust manifold gasket. The front end got serviced in year 28. On the plus side blank cassettes are increasingly easy to find so I have a solid collection of 90 minute playlists.