Sometimes a dozen is just not enough. Maybe a baker’s dozen is more like it. Well at least that’s how Volkswagen’s Chairman Ferdinand Piech feels about his empire’s brands tally. Not content of having 12 international brands including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT and Škoda under its broad wings, could Volkswagen still be eyeing to add to the current line-up?
Piech suggested as much in an interview with German magazine ADAC Motorwelt, saying that he foresees his children 10 years from now driving one of Volkswagen’s “at least 13 brands.” He then went on to talk about the “cult brand” Alfa Romeo in a lavish fashion, but stopped short of expressing interest in buying over the Fiat-owned Italian company.
He has openly done so in the past however, saying that under Volkswagen the struggling premium brand could easily quadruple its sales in five years. That statement provoked the charismatic, if not so much authoritative Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne to fire a warning shot back, pledging that he will not sell Alfa Romeo – despite its mounting debts and fledgling sales – to Piech as long as he’s in power.
Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn on the other hand has ruled out any more acquisitions, though a new budget brand to take on the fast growing Dacia and Nissan’s upcoming Datsun revival (which will be based on a Lada platform) is up on the cards as soon as this year.