Volkswagen Group is in a dilemma, according to a recent Reuters report. As the automotive conglomerate seeks to shift its strategy toward electric cars in the wake of tightening emissions regulations, their supercar brands may see seismic changes in how they operate. Executives who did not wish to be named told Reuters that company executives are “reviewing the future” of brands like Bugatti, Lamborghini and Ducatti as it navigates a shaky economic climate.
The report further mentions that VW Group’s board aims to double its market value to 200 billion euros (or $235 billion) in the coming years. To that end, they are putting together a strategy to allocate resources. Among all the options are investing in electric technology for the group’s supercar and superbike brands, restructuring, or possibly selling off the brands to interested buyers.
VW CEO aims to free up cash
Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess did not directly comment on what’s happening to the automaker’s supercar brands. He did say, however, that “we are constantly looking at our brand portfolio, this is particularly true during the phase of fundamental change in our industry. In view of market disruption, we must focus and ask ourselves what the transformation means for the individual parts of the group.” Later, he said that opportunities do exist for every brand to find its place, as digital services, connectivity and electrification dominate new car development moving forward.
For context, Reuters did include sales figures to illustrate the situation. In 2019, Volkswagen sold 4,554 Lamborghinis. During the same time, it sold 53,000 Ducati motorcycles and just 82 Bugatti vehicles. That last number is particularly striking, as it pegs the iconic supercar brand as the possible first target in a wave of changes. Some company insiders are questioning whether VW should invest its scarce resources into electrifying vehicles that so few people buy — especially if fans aren’t willing to accept the change.
Bugatti still uses a fuel-chewing quad-turbocharged W16 engine at the heart of its models. As electrification grows more necessary to tackle emissions targets, that could leave such an approach stuck in the lurch.
More information will come by the end of this year
Diess said Volkswagen Group would make some pivotal decisions by the end of the year, as Automotive News Europe reports. “Volkswagen needs to change: We will take further important steps to set the course for this in the rest of 2020.” As for the 200 billion Euro value goal, he said it was valid as an “aspirational target”.
Volkswagen currently has no plans to list either Porsche or Audi, according to the report.