The Volkswagen Group has fired back at recent reports, denying it has any plans to sell Lamborghini, or to put it up for an initial public offering (IPO). According to Reuters, these speculations – which included the possibility of spinning off the famed Italian supercar maker into a separate entity to focus on the expansion of the Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche brands – were labeled as “unfounded” by a group spokesman.

This comes after both Bloomberg and German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that the conglomerate was considering a sale or a stock offering, the former citing sources that said no decision had yet been made. An earlier plan to move Lamborghini from being an Audi subsidiary to Porsche was also still on the table, those sources added.

Rumours of a possible sale began swirling in March, when group CEO Herbert Diess said that Volkswagen was reviewing its lineup of brands – which also include Ducati and Bentley – and whether to divest some non-core businesses. Then last month, Diess said the company was working on freeing up resources, in order to develop and build mass-market electric vehicles.

The more practical Urus SUV has helped boost Lamborghini’s market value to RM46 billion

Lamborghini is valued at around US$11 billion (RM46 billion) – helped by its expansion into SUVs with the Urus – which analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence said in August would make it a viable IPO candidate. Investors have long urged VW to free up assets whose values are absorbed into a structure that includes everything from the high-performance Lamborghini and Ducati brands to the heavy-duty Scania and MAN.

Spinning off Lamborghini would certainly help – Ferrari, which was spun off from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in 2015, is now worth about $30 billion (RM125.5 billion). However, VW’s powerful labour unions in Germany have prevented similar moves from happening.

Diess is aiming to raise the market value of the group to €200 billion (RM923.4 billion) from around €81 billion (RM374 billion) currently, to fend off rivals from both the established automotive industry and the emerging technology sector.