Late last year, VW’s labor chief made it crystal clear that he would reject any additional expansion of the automakers umbrella, as they already have their hands full with the 12 brands that they are managing. Well, we were rather skeptical of that stance and threw out there that we highly doubt that VW is done just yet. And now, reports are pointing in just that direction.
In an interview with Reuters Television, Martin Winterkorn – VW’s CEO – said “We are currently well positioned with 12 brands, but there are always opportunities that one cannot pass up.” Surprise, surprise, Volkswagen would hop on the right deal if one popped up, regardless of what the labor chief thinks about it.
The pressing issue now is what brand would VW be interested in? At one point VW was interested in snagging up the resurging Alfa Romeo, but FIAT has made it clear that the brand is not for sale. So, what other brands could VW set its sights on? Well, there is one obvious troubled automaker that could use the shot in the arm that the German powerhouse provides, and that is Lotus.
Once a successful British sports car builder, Lotus still builds a quality machine but shoddy management and poor product planning has led it down a path that few automakers can recover from. A buyout would be cheap for Volkswagen and life saving for Lotus, so we wouldn’t be shocked to see a deal between the two in the next year or so.