2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI Six-Month Road TestEnlarge Photo
Within the group, there are 12 individual brands, made up of Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen in its passenger car division, and MAN, Scania and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in its commercial division.
The 12th brand is Ducati, the sole brand in its new motorcycle division.
Volkswagen has admitted in the past that it was considering launching a new low-cost brand to take on the likes of Romania’s Dacia and a revived Datsun brand from Nissan, and has said a decision would be made this year.
Now Bloomberg is reporting that Volkswagen Group chairman Ferdinand Piech, grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, has indicated that he does plan to add at least one more brand to the group in order to help it reach its self-imposed target of being the world’s largest automaker by 2018.
Piech reportedly told German magazine ADAC Motorwelt that 10 years from now, his children would be able to drive a vehicle from one of 13 brands at the Volkswagen Group.
While a new low-cost brand is certainly a possibility, and a likely one, Volkswagen has also indicated that it was interesting in acquiring more brands. In 2009 Volkswagen formed an alliance with Suzuki though the relationship has since broken, although Volkswagen still owns close to 20 percent of Suzuki’s shares.
There’s been talk of Volkswagen buying the Lotus brand along with the British sports car manufacturer’s parent, Proton, in order to increase its presence in Southeast Asia, though this is unlikely give the dismal financial performance of those two brands. There have also been suggestions that Volkswagen was interested in acquiring Alfa Romeo, though the boss of current owner Fiat, Sergio Marchionne, has stated it’s not for sale.