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by Tim Beissmann

Reports out of Europe claim the 12 brands belonging to the Volkswagen Group will be restructured into four distinct holding companies in a major reorganisation of one of the world’s largest automotive groups.

The restructure will reportedly see three brands grouped together under each of the four holding companies in an arrangement designed to improve efficiency and speed up decision making within the business.

Former BMW manger Herbert Diess will head the holding company comprising the Volkswagen, Skoda and Seat passenger car brands. Current Audi CEO Rupert Stadler will lead the holding company containing Audi, Lamborghini and Ducati. Porsche, Bentley and Bugatti will form a unit together headed by current Porsche boss Matthias Mueller, and Volkswagen Commercial, Scania and Man will form a light- and heavy-commercial holding company led by former Daimler trucks chief Andreas Renschler.

The details of the reorganisation have been reported by German business paper Handelsblatt and news services Bloomberg and Reuters, while Volkswagen has remained silent on the reports.

The new structure promoting close collaboration between grouped brands is understood to be favoured by Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn over the strategy of former Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech that encouraged competition between the brands.

Winterkorn’s structure should see Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche flourish as the volume divisions of their holding companies while simultaneously supporting their associated lower-volume brands.

Reports suggest the structure will be finalised over the coming months with the aim of gaining approval from the supervisory board at the next scheduled meeting at the end of September.




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