VW said to overhaul supercar strategy, putting Lamborghini, Bugatti in focus

WOLFSBURG — Volkswagen Group is reviewing the future of its high-performance brands Lamborghini, Bugatti and Ducati as part of broader quest for more economies of scale as it shifts to mass producing electric cars, senior executives told Reuters.

VW’s management board and directors will look at the automaker’s strategy at a meeting in November and are working on a new “to do list” as the company tries to more than double its value to 200 billion euros ($235 billion), one executive said.

The review could result in technology partnerships for the Lamborghini, Bugatti high-performance sports cars brands and the Ducati superbike brand. Other options include restructuring, and a listing or sale, said two executives, who declined to be named.

Reports last month said VW is in talks to sell Bugatti to Croatian performance electric-car specialist Rimac. Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali is stepping down to join Formula One as CEO amid speculation about the brand’s future.

Executives said VW Group, which also owns the VW, Audi, Porsche, Seat and Skoda brands, is looking at whether it has the resources to develop electric platforms for its smaller brands at a time it is investing billions to transform its more mainstream cars.

The stark choice faced by Volkswagen comes as CEO Herbert Diess seeks new ways to free up cash to fund its move away from combustion engines after powerful labor leaders blocked a cost-cutting drive in Germany.

In an interview with Reuters, Diess declined to comment on the high-performance brands individually but acknowledged that Volkswagen, which also has a stable of trucks, needed to reinvent itself for an era of electric and autonomous cars.

“We are constantly looking at our brand portfolio, this is particularly true during the phase of fundamental change in our industry. In view of the market disruption, we must focus and ask ourselves what the transformation means for the individual parts of the group,” Diess told Reuters.

“Brands must be measured against new requirements. By electrification, by reach, by digitalization and connectivity of the vehicle. There is new room for maneuver and every brand must find its new place,” he said.

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