Volkswagen has ended months of speculation about the futures of Lamborghini and Bentley with that of Bugatti still to be confirmed.
In a statement on Monday afternoon after the concluding of its yearly Supervisory Board meeting, Wolfsburg stated that the former pair will remain part of the Volkswagen Group with Bentley becoming the responsibilities of Audi from the first of March.
As well as the announcement, which included ongoing support for current CEO Herbert Diess, the board, together with the Board of Management, stated that a plan had been agreed upon that would cut costs by five percent by 2023 and materials costs by seven percent come 2022.
“We are rigorously pressing forward with the largest transformation in the history of Volkswagen. In the upcoming years, we will continue to invest in electromobility, digitalisation and battery technology and, at the same time, substantially reduce fixed costs and material costs throughout the Group in all brands and regions in order to ensure Volkswagen’s future viability,” Diess was quoted as saying.
The retention of Ducati, Bentley and Lamborghini comes less than a month after Sant’Agata confirmed that Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann had been re-appointed at its CEO and President after being replaced by former Ferrari Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali four years ago. The Italian will head back to F1 next year as the CEO of Liberty Media after it was announced that current head, Chase Carey, would take the position of non-executive chairman as of January next year.
Winkelmann’s redeployment, combined with the board making no apparent reference towards Bugatti, has sparked speculation that the Molsheim based brand, part of the Volkswagen Group since 1998 after a short spell under Proton ownership, had been offloaded to Croatian electric hypercar manufacturer Rimac as a part of a direct swap in return for the initial 10% and later 5.5% stake Wolfsburg had acquired in it via Porsche. An official announcement regarding Bugatti will likely be made at a later stage.