Here's everything you need to know.
The Volkswagen Group is undergoing significant internal changes. Led by CEO Herbert Diess, the multi-brand German automaker aims to shift focus to electrification and autonomous vehicles and all related technologies in a quest to meet and eventually surpass Tesla's dominance in both categories. He believes nothing less than the company's long-term future is at stake. Some of those rumored changes involved the potential sale of niche brands Lamborghini and Bugatti. Even Bentley's status was reportedly a discussion topic. Today, the future of two brands has been decided.
Following its annual meeting, the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG announced that Audi, as expected, will assume all management responsibilities for Bentley beginning on March 1, 2021. This structural change will enable "for synergies to be achieved as part of the electrification strategy of two premium brands."
Audi is currently developing an ultra-secret and highly advanced all-electric platform called "Project Artemis" with impressive autonomous capabilities. The first production model will be an Audi, due in 2024, and Bentley is expected to receive its own version sometime later.
Meanwhile, Lamborghini and motorcycle brand Ducati will remain part of the VW Group despite rumors they could be sold or spun-off. No other details regarding these Italian brands were provided, such as the status of the Lamborghini Aventador successor, expected to debut sometime next year.
Volkswagen intends to reduce fixed costs by five percent of all of its brands and regions where it operates by 2023. A seven percent reduction of material costs is planned by that year as well.
Interestingly, Volkswagen did not provide an update regarding Bugatti. A couple of months ago, Croatian automaker Rimac was supposedly interested in purchasing a controlling stake in the high-performance hypercar brand. More recently, Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann was reappointed CEO of Lamborghini, a company he led for 11 years. He'll serve as CEO for both brands.
With Lamborghini's future now confirmed, it's more likely VW won't part with Bugatti, though it could still sell a significant share to another party. Despite VW's major EV push, neither Bugatti nor Lamborghini is expected to follow suit anytime soon because the technology cannot meet performance demands.