According to a Reuters report, Volkswagen AG labour chief Bernd Osterloh was quoted by German daily Handelsblatt as saying that the carmaker’s labour representatives will not back any more of its acquisitions, especially of Proton.

“We already have 12 brands and we first have to stabilise the group,” he said. “Even though further sales and production sites in south-east Asia are important, there is no support from the labour side for a purchase of Proton.”

The VW Group recently added Ducati, truck maker MAN and Porsche to its stable of brands, which already includes Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Scania, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen.

Several attempts have been made at a tie-up with Proton to somewhat inconclusive results thus far – the deal fell through twice, in 2006 and 2010, but they haven’t stopped trying – two VW group directors met to discuss with key people at DRB-Hicom earlier this year, and another German report revealed only last month that VW was still interested in taking up a stake in Proton.