Despite news that Volkswagen Group’s largest shareholder is eager to list the Porsche brand, rumors are swirling that the plan might be delayed over the conflict in Eastern Europe. VW and Porsche SE have openly shared their desire to launch the initial public offering (IPO) in the fourth quarter of 2022. However Porsche Automobil Holding SE’s finance head has suggested it might not be prudent if Russia is still occupying parts of Ukraine.
“We cannot rule out, if the conflict lasts a longer time, that this could have potential implications on the listing,” CFO Johannes Lattwein recently explained during a press conference held in Berlin, adding that no formal decisions have yet been made.
Volkswagen Group is apparently in talks with Porsche Automobil Holding SE about a potential initial public offering (IPO) for the Porsche luxury/sports brand. According to a statement from VW, the duo has already negotiated the agreed-upon frameworks and is in final discussions as to when they want to move forward.
Weeks of rumor preceded corporate confirmation, making it seem like the proposed deal was already a shoo-in. But any final decisions will still need to be approved by the management and supervisory boards — something Volkswagen Group said has yet to happen.
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.
Croatian supercar firm Rimac Automobili is reportedly in the process of acquiring Bugatti from Volkswagen. While rumors had been swirling that VW might offload a few of its brands in a bid to focus on electrification and emissions compliance, this is is the first time we’ve heard credible rumblings about real action being taken.
Considering the space Rimac occupies, adding the formerly French Bugatti brand also makes some amount of sense. We’d be a lot more skeptical if founder Mate Rimac was alleged to be making a move on SEAT because he suddenly found a passion for designing economy cars. But the prospective tie-up is more complicated than it seems at first blush. Volkswagen Group’s Porsche actually owns a 15-percent stake in Rimac so it can tap into some of its sweetest technical equipment for the purpose of building EVs.
Volkswagen Group is thinking about replacing chief executive Matthias Müller with the head of its VW brand, Herbert Diess. According to inside sources, however, the decision already appears to have been made. When questioned about staffing changes, the company said it was “considering evolving the leadership structure” as it relates to the the management board — which could extend to a change in CEOs.
An automaker typically wouldn’t even hint at such a thing if it wasn’t already a done deal. That means Müller is almost guaranteed to be moving on soon, bringing his extended history with the company to a close. A true company man, Matthias completed a tooling apprenticeship at Audi in 1977, before a reprieve where he left to study computer engineering. Returning to the brand in 1984, Müller moved up the ranks swiftly — eventually becoming CEO of Porsche in 2010 and replacing Martin Winterkorn as Volkswagen AG’s CEO during 2015’s diesel emissions scandal.
While his contract is good until 2020, the company could still press for an early retirement. In fact, some reports even have Müller removed from his post already.
Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech solidifies his and the Piech-Porsche clan’s control of Europe’s largest carmaker by placing his wife in positions of power. A year after taking a seat on Volkswagen’s supervisory board, Ursula Piech will be up for certain election to Audi’s supervisory panel at the annual shareholders’ meeting on May 16, Reuters reports.
Last week, Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech celebrated his 75th birthday. Yesterday, the presents arrived. Volkswagen bought the maker of Piech’s motorcycle, Ducati. Piech’s contract as chairman was extended by 5 years. And a buxom blonde received a seat on the board: Piech’s wife Ursula.
The Porsche-Piëch clan, ca. 1942. Grandfather Ferdinand Porsche, brother Ernst Piëch, sister Louise Piëch and mother Louise Piëch-Porsche. Ferdinand Piëch (nicknamed "Burli") is sitting in the grass on the left.
Volkswagen does not own Porsche yet. For all intents and purposes, however, Porsche is part of Volkswagen. Volkswagen executives give orders from Porsche board seats. Porsche engineers need to consult Volkswagen Group R&D departments. Insular solutions at Porsche require a written permission from Wolfsburg.
“Actually, Piech and his minion, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, could leave it at that. The integration of both enterprises has progressed so far, that is does not make a difference whether Porsche morphs into a Volkswagen division, or remains legally independent.
Will they or won’t they? That’s currently the talk amongst Germany’s auto execs. “They” are Volkswagen and Suzuki. And “will” refers to taking over Suzuki against its will. Yesterday, Der Spiegel, reported that Volkswagen is no longer barred from taking over Suzuki if Suzuki cancels its contract. Der Spiegel, of course, heard that from an interested party that telegraphs to Hamamatsu. “Be careful what you wish for.” Nonetheless, the rumor mill is at high revs. Let’s investigate.
Ferdi Piech is trying his hand at instigating a velvet revolution. He is dangling huge sales increases at Alfa in front of workers and customers, hoping that they string up Marchionne and ask Volkswagen to take over Alfa. Or something along these lines. Anyway, Piech said in Geneva that Volkswagen could nearly quadruple the annual sales of Alfa Romeo, if Fiat would only do the right thing and sell Volkswagen the ailing Alfa brand.
Uh-oh. Septuagenarian Ferdinand Piech is expressing youthful impatience with octogenarian Osamo Suzuki. Volkswagen’s Chairman of the board “is reportedly irked at the slow progress of his firm’s alliance with Suzuki,” says The Nikkei [sub]. The reason? “A year after Suzuki and Volkswagen agreed on a capital and business tie-up, the track record of their partnership remains devoid of significant accomplishment.”
If you are one of the richest car executives of the world, if you have “about twelve children. You never can tell for sure”, if those children are from four different women (I did not say wives), and if you are 73, you slowly start doing some estate planning. That’s exactly what Ferdinand Piech, Emperor of Volkswagen and Porsche, did. His heirs are livid.
The NRA, the Pope, Porsche and Piech, all eyes were on the Supreme Court for the last few days: Gun owners watched the Chicago case (right to arm bears upheld.) Accountants and CPAs monitored the treatment of their favorite boondoggle, a.k.a. Sarbanes-Oxley (upheld.) Rome said “oh my God” when they heard that a lawsuit that accuses the Vatican of conspiring with U.S. church officials to cover up sex abuse could proceed. Meanwhile, Germany’s attention, from Zuffenhausen to Wolfsburg, was fixated on Morrison v. National Australia Bank, No. 08-1191. The Supreme Court seriously frustrated attemps by overseas investors who want to drag non-American companies into American courts. Champagne corks popped at Volkswagen and Porsche. The Guardian: “America’s supreme court has told prospective European claimants to take their claims back to Europe.” So what does that have to do with Porsche?
Today’s Nikkei [sub] agrees with the TTAC commentariat that Suzuki is overripe for a takeover. “Now that Suzuki has dissolved its joint venture assembly plant with General Motors Co. in Canada, the Japanese automaker, with its long presence in emerging markets and strength in subcompacts, appears an attractive partner for an alliance.”
No kidding. As it has been pointed out by TTAC’s Best & Brightest, Suzuki has what other makers need, and Suzuki needs what other makers have.
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