Please don’t scare us like that again, Volkswagen.
Selling out is a large and legitimate concern to fans of a certain brand, Lamborghini for example, for a number of reasons. While merging with another company can lend a troubled automaker the funds it needs to get out of the slump and gain cutting edge technology, there’s always the risk that brand identity goes out the window. Volkswagen, on the other hand, seems to be pretty good at keeping the natural order of things at some of its more popular subsidiaries.
When it comes to Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Porsche, the German umbrella company has doled out enough no-strings-attached cash to allow each respective brand become the best that it can be without losing too much identity. As Reuters reports, that methodology will continue. When Dieselgate happened, Volkswagen wasn’t sure how hard it would be hit. The company was bracing for the worst, with some sources claiming that Volkswagen faced the possible reality of having to sell off some of its subsidiaries. If the worst case scenario were to occur, it was the niche automakers like Bentley and Bugatti that were slated to go first, which could have meant the eventual death of either.
Now that the majority of its fines have been paid and sales numbers have surged to historic highs rather than seen a significant dip, the threat of having to sell has gone away, at least for all of its automotive companies. Ducati, on the other hand, is not yet in the clear, but during a recent Volkswagen shareholder meeting, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume eased anxiety about some of our favorite automakers. “There are no considerations to sell anything," said Blume. He later went on to solidify his promise by claiming that Bentley and Porsche’s partnership had netted more than the targeted €100 million ($109 million).
Though the two brands couldn’t be more different, one being a builder of an enduring and iconic sports car and the other a British luxury marquee known for its slow but comfortable limousines, both are facing industry-wide evolutionary pressures, which can be conquered by combining the brains at each company for platforms and powertrains.