While many brands have been busy downsizing, Volkswagen AG is still looking to expand its ranks, and hopes to add a thirteenth, and possibly even fourteenth brand to its stable.
Volkswagen’s CEO Ferdinand Piech has been aggressively growing the VW family, finishing the takeover of Porsche last year. Now, Piech says that he wants Alfa Romeo to join the club, but Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has already said that he has no intentions of selling.
In an interview, Piech said that ten years from now his children will drive a vehicle from one of VW’s “at least 13 brands.” With 12 brand’s currently making up the VW empire the company has declined to comment on which brands they are targeting, besides Alfa Romeo, and exactly how they would acquire them.
Volkswagen may be forced to buy, or start a China specific brand, as Chinese regulators demand that European and American automakers have a Chinese only nameplate that will appeal to buyers in small cities and rural areas. Currently, VW has its Volkswagen and Skoda brands in China, both of which can’t afford to offer cheaper cars in the market, yet another reason why VW may consider a China-only brand.
Volkswagen also has ties to Malaysia’s Proton, which has a strong presence in emerging markets such as Indonesia. Proton also owns British sports car company Lotus, which could use the help of a large corporation with deep pockets.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]
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