With the Volkswagen Group currently controlling almost a dozen brands, including the likes of Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini and Porsche, there are rumblings the auto giant may rebrand itself the Auto Union, a German automaker founded in the 1930s when four separate brands came under the one roof. The Auto Union, which originally consisted of the brands Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer, managed to survive World War II but was bought by VW in the 1960s and eventually transformed into present-day Audi.
Australia’s Go Auto, citing an anonymous source, is reporting that the VW Group could resurrect the Auto Union name for itself. The move would allow the group to separate VW’s non-luxury image from the overall corporate image, at a time when an increasing amount of technology is being shared across the brands. It’s a strategy employed by rival automakers such as Daimler and America's own General Motors Company [NYSE:GM].
A spokesman for VW said he was unaware of any plans to resurrect the name or change the current VW Group title. And rumors of the VW Group rebranding itself the Auto Union dates back all the way to 2004, so take this latest rumor with a grain of salt.
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In related news, a report out of Germany last week suggested the VW Group is considering a move to take control of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The move, the report said, would finally give the VW Group a viable player in the North American market with Chrysler. However, both the VW Group and FCA have denied the report’s claims.