Report: Volkswagen Group May Split Into Four Holding Companies

Twelve brands could be split into four groups.

The Volkswagen Group may soon be split into four separate holding companies, according to new reports from Reuters and Automotive News. Each of the holding companies would control several of the VW Group’s 12 brands.

According to the reports, former BMW executive Herbert Diess would control one holding company that will manage Volkswagen, Skoda, and Seat passenger cars. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler would reportedly control another group comprising Audi, Lamborghini, and Ducati. Porsche’s Matthias Mueller would lead a group consisting of Porsche, Bentley, and Bugatti, and the Volkswagen Commercial vehicles, Scania trucks, and Man trucks brands would be consolidated into a fourth holding company.

No timeline for the possible decentralization plan has been announced, and the Volkswagen Group has yet to officially comment on the reports. The company board could confirm the plan at its meeting in Spetember.

Separating different types of car brands into different companies would run counter to the strategy of former Volkswagen Group chairman Ferdinand Piech, who had attempted to achieve economies of scale by consolidating many brands — the Volkswagen Group comprises an incredible 600,000 employees and 119 factories worldwide. Reports suggest CEO Martin Winterkorn wants each business unit to be able to make quicker business decisions about new cars because they will have smaller management boards.

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