Monday 14th December, Volkswagen, at the end of its supervisory board meeting, announced the retention of Ducati and Lamborghini within its group. This announcement was made at the same time as the board’s decision to keep Herbert Diess at the head of Volkswagen.
Volkswagen currently has a large number of brands in its portfolio, whether in terms of low-end with Seat, mid-range with Volkswagen, or luxury with Audi, Bugatti, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley, Ducati.
For several years now, rumours have been circulating in the corridor, which are also maintained by the boss of the German group, about the possible sale of two of its emblematic brands : Ducati and Lamborghini. Last month, the boss also mentioned that these brands were being called into question within the company.
Herbert Diess had raised this possibility as part of a restructuring project of the Volkswagen Group, which consisted of obtaining more financing for massive investments in electricity and connectivity. Indeed, Diess, who took over as head of the group in 2018, did not wait to announce his intentions in terms of a change of strategy : to put an end to Dieselgate and launch Volkswagen into the era of electricity and digitalisation to catch up with Tesla.
Contrary to all expectations Volkswagen finally set the record straight and claims not to separate from Ducati and Lamborghini despite the fact that both brands are still very dependent on combustion engines and are slow to turn to hybridization. Even if the decision surprised many people after having heard many rumours, rumours confirmed several times by the group’s manager, the group did not give more details.
On the other hand, there is one thing to be noted : no news about the future of Buggati, which had also been the subject of these rumours in Autumn, the brand would therefore perhaps not suffer the same fate as its neighbours. A sale to The manufacturer Rimac had been evoked.
“Over the next few years we are going to continue to invest “in the car of the future” and at the same time considerably reduce fixed and material costs for all brands and in all regions” he said.
This strategy has not been approved by everyone and that is why the position of the boss of the large German group was questioned a few months ago. Last June the multiple attacks by the unions bore fruit and thus removed the direct management of Volkswagen from Herbert Diess.
But at the expense of the unions, the Volkswagen boss is taking over the reins with the unanimous support of the supervisory board, which also fully endorses the new strategy it has introduced. A possible resignation was ruled out, but Herbert Diess came back in force by fixing the composition of the financial and technical management board. However, the boss, who had hoped to renew his contract prematurely, was unable to convince the board to extend his contract beyond 2023.
This transformation project called “Together 25” will therefore be led by a completely new team and as mentioned above, the allocation of posts will be the responsibility of Hebert Diess’ men: Arno Antlitz will take over the position of CFO of the Audi subsidiary after Frank Witter’s departure at the end of June 2021. At the beginning of next year, Thomas Schmall will take over as Technical Director of the Volkswagen Components subsidiary. Finally, the position of Head of Purchasing for the entire group will be held by Murat Aksel.
It was therefore time for the unrest in the group to take their hats off so that the group could concentrate on the competition, which is far from being absent. Competing brands such as Mercedes and Tesla have been playing in electric and connected mobility for a while now, so why so many vetoes in the face of Herbert Diess’ decision to enter the competition ?
Featured Photo : © Volkswagen
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