The premium Italian brands, including the supercar maker Lamborghini, could be spinned off by the Volkswagen Group, confirmed the automaker’s executives to the media.
The motorcycle manufacturer Ducati and Italdesign Giugiaro, a design and engineering consulting company could also be included in the potential spinoff.
There are on going discussions in the company about restructuring the three Italian brands with the aim of making them into a separate business, indicated VW CEO Herbert Diess through his comments during a conference call with analysts.
He however said that it does not mean that such a restructuring would happen for sure.
“We are bringing it into a legal structure where we could act, but it’s not yet decided,” he said.
Prior to this, its Ferrari (RACE) business was spun off in 2016 by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) and transformed it into a separate company which had its own with public listing. A large share of FCA and a similarly large share of Ferrari is owned by Exor, a company controlled by the Agnelli family, descendents of Fiat founder Giovanni Agnelli.
He would be leaving the company to take a new job as CEO of Formula 1 racing, Lamborghini’s current CEO, Stefano Domenicali, announced earlier this year.
However on Wednesday, Volkswagen announced that Winkelmann will be coming back to Lamborghini as the company’s CEO and President – positions that he had held from 2005 to 2016. Winkelmann will also continue as the President of Bugatti, a brand that is also owned by VW Group.
There have also been reports of Volkswagen contemplating selling off or trading off the Bugatti brand. There has however been no confirmation on that available from VW Group and Bugatti.
Volkswagen Group’s luxury car subsidiary Audi is the owner of Lamborghini. And both Italdesign and Ducati brands are owned by Lamborghini.
Even though the global sale figures of Lamborghini is tiny compared to the usual standards in the auto industry, in recent year however its revenues have almost doubled because of the very successful launch of the Urus crossover SUV. The engineering behind the Urus is the same as those of other Volkswagen Group models, including the Audi Q8 and the Bentley Bentayga. According to Volkswagen Group’s annual report, last year 8,300 behicle swer sold globally by Lamborghini.
High performance motorcycle, such as the 214-horsepower Panigale V4, is the trademark of Ducati. Globally, the brand sells about 50,000 bikes annually.
The famed Italian auto designer Giorgetto Giugiaro was partly responsible for the founding of the design and engineering consulting firm Italdesign Giugiaro in 1968. His contribution in the designing of the DMC DeLorean and the original Volkswagen Golf are the most well-known works of Giugiaro among his contribution to designing of many other models.
The Premium brand group of VW under its current structure are Audi, Lamborghini and Ducati. The German auto giant’s the Sport and Luxury group is comprised of Porsche, Bentley and Bugatti.
And the group’s Volume brand group includes all of its cars under the Volkswagen brand as well as those under the SEAT brand – based in Spain, and the Škoda brand – with its headquarters in the Czech Republic.
(Adapted from CNN.com)