(CNN)Volkswagen Group executives confirmed that they are considering spinning off the automaker’s premium Italian brands, including the supercar maker Lamborghini.
The potential spinoff would also include the motorcycle manufacturer Ducati and Italdesign Giugiaro, a design and engineering consulting company.
VW CEO Herbert Diess indicated during a conference call with analysts Monday that the company has been working to restructure the three Italian brands with an eye toward forming them into a separate business.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that will happen, though, he said.
“We are bringing it into a legal structure where we could act, but it’s not yet decided,” he said.
VW could follow in the footsteps of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU), which spun off Ferrari (RACE) in 2016 as a separate company with its own stock listing. Exor, a company controlled by the Agnelli family, descendents of Fiat founder Giovanni Agnelli, owns a large share of FCA and a similarly large share of Ferrari.
Lamborghini’s current CEO, Stefano Domenicali, announced earlier this year that he would be leaving the company to take a new job as CEO of Formula 1 racing. On Wednesday, Volkswagen announced that Stephan Winkelmann will return as CEO and President for Lamborghini, a position he last held from 2005 to 2016. He will also retain his current role as President of Bugatti, which is also owned by VW Group.
Volkswagen has also reportedly been considering selling or trading off the Bugatti brand. Neither VW Group or Bugatti would confirm those reports when asked recently
Lamborghini is owned by Volkswagen Group’s luxury car subsidiary Audi. Lamborghini, in turn, owns both Italdesign and Ducati.
Lamborghini’s global sales, while tiny by ordinary auto industry standards, have nearly doubled in recent years thanks to the introduction of the Urus crossover SUV. The Urus shares much of its engineering with other Volkswagen Group models, including the Audi Q8 and the Bentley Bentayga. Lamborghini sold 8,300 vehicles last year, according to Volkswagen Group’s annual report.
Ducati is known for high-performance motorcycles, such as the 214-horsepower Panigale V4. It sells about 50,000 bikes a year worldwide.
Italdesign Giugiaro is a design and engineering consulting firm that was founded, in part, by famed Italian auto designer Giorgetto Giugiaro in 1968. Among many other cars, Giugiaro is known for his work on the DMC DeLorean and the original Volkswagen Golf.
Under VW’s current structure, Audi, Lamborghini and Ducati are grouped together as the Premium brand group, while Porsche, Bentley and Bugatti are the Sport and Luxury group. The Volkswagen car brand, along with SEAT, based in Spain, and Škoda, headquartered in the Czech Republic, are in VW’s Volume brand group.
Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti were all purchased separately by Volkswagen Group in 1998.
Source: Read Full Article