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    1. Administrator George@Fourtitude's Avatar
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      02-08-2013 01:14 PM #1
      It never fails that comments made by Volkswagen Group Chairman Ferdinand Piech tend to be dissected to a level nearly unparalleled in the auto industry. Piech is the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche and the main man behind notable happenings as Audi's move to quattro and the Porsche 917. He's been the main catalyst for the surprising agility of the gargantuan Volkswagen Group for many years and often the final decision in many moves by the company. So, when Piech mentions the possibility of adding brands, the press gets awfully interested.

      This latest quote comes from an interview with the German monthly magazine ADAC Motorwelt. Piech mentions in the chat that his children 10 years from now will drive one of the car manufacturer's "at least 13 brands". By last count the Volkswagen Group (including Audi, Lamborghini and Ducati) was at 12.

      So what brand could Piech have in mind when he makes such claims? VW's chairman has mentioned Alfa Romeo on numerous occasions and is quoted as appreciating its "cult" status. Still, the brand is currently owned by Fiat SpA whose CEO Sergio Marchionne reiterated as recently as last week that the brand is not for sale.

      Another theory at thedetroitbureau.com focuses more on Asia. No one can deny the growth in China and the Chinese government has been pressuring car makers to launch domestic Chinese brands. Companies like GM and Nissan have already made such moves, though the Volkswagen Group has made no such move thus far.

      That same theory also sites Proton for its presence in Southeast Asia and also its current ownership of the ailing yet storied Lotus brand. This is an interesting theory as well, though rumors back in 2012 suggest Volkswagen already looked at Lotus and decided not to make the move.

      On paper Asia makes a lot of sense, though watching Volkswagen's record might suggest otherwise. The company made a failed move to invest in Suzuki and that could have left a bad taste in their mouth. Daimler's own problems in trying to manage a multi-continent union with Chrysler may have also been a consideration, as Volkswagen could have likely stepped in and snapped up the Chrysler portfolio before Fiat was able to do so. Given all this, it is quite possible that Volkswagen has elected to adopt a Euro-centric philosophy. All twelve of its marques hail from Europe.

      Going with the Euro theme (and also Fiat), we've made our case for the company to focus more on Fiat's ailing yet still cool Lancia brand whose penchant for engineering, design and motorsport would make it a seemingly perfect fit as a starter brand within the Audi side of the Volkswagen group. Still, even this seems unlikely given the lack of love lost between Marchionne and Piech.

      Another way to look at this might be to examine the Volkswagen Group business model of maximizing economies of scale and then applying it to the current portfolio. There are now two commercial truck brands, and now a number of car brands spanning the range of customer pricing needs. Then, there's Ducati - the sole motorcycle manufacturer in the mix. To help raise economies of scale in motorcycle manufacturing, maybe Volkswagen might look toward growing its two-wheel portfolio.

      Now, apply Piech's love for icons, the Euro-centric nature of the portfolio and the group's economies of scale production strategy and that offers up an interesting list of potential acquisitions.

      The marque that sticks out in our head most (and this is just a guess) would be Vespa. All that said, Vespa is part of the Piaggio Group that owns a mix of reknowned brands like Aprilia and Moto Guzzi, along with lesser-knowns like Derbi, Gilera and Scarabeo. They've also got a commercial division.

      So, in the end this is all guesswork. What marques do you think Piech is targeting when he makes such comments?

    2. Member atomicalex's Avatar
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      02-08-2013 01:29 PM #2
      Oh, definitely China, or even India.

      Lancia and Alfa are out of the picture because the markets for them are completely filled with product.

      Picking up a Chinese brand to fill out the product portfolio over there would make stunning sense.

      Oh, wait.....
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    3. 02-08-2013 02:06 PM #3
      They'll launch a low cost brand in China and India, possibly use it to attack Dacia in Europe. Maybe they'll use the DKW brand, although some sources suggest a new brand would be named.

      I also think FIAT will eventually be forced to sell some of it's brands to ensure survival, so I wouldn't rule out Alfa, Maserati or even Ferrari. Piech is that crazy

    4. Member 200HP4dr's Avatar
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      02-08-2013 02:07 PM #4
      What is it with Germans and wanting to take over the world?

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    5. Member Snaak.'s Avatar
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      02-08-2013 02:16 PM #5
      The Lancia brand deserves better cars than what it has had to work with the last 10 years.
      Is VAG the company to revive it? I don't think so..
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    6. Member Vrucizzy's Avatar
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      02-08-2013 02:22 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by StringTheory View Post
      They'll launch a low cost brand in China and India, possibly use it to attack Dacia in Europe. Maybe they'll use the DKW brand, although some sources suggest a new brand would be named.

      I also think FIAT will eventually be forced to sell some of it's brands to ensure survival, so I wouldn't rule out Alfa, Maserati or even Ferrari. Piech is that crazy
      Imagine the reaction when people realize that Ferrari and Lamborghini are part of the same company.

      Although we'd finally get the Lamborgotti Fasterossa


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      02-08-2013 02:24 PM #7
      He wants....all of them.
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      02-08-2013 02:31 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      He wants....all of them.
      Exactly, everything can be "not for sale" until something throws out the right number.
      Quote Originally Posted by bob12312357 View Post
      Now now, let's not forget to specifically mention the steering wheels comparison to a 12 year old boys penis by one of our very own TCL members....

    9. Senior Member feels_road's Avatar
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      02-09-2013 09:46 AM #9
      I wouldn't write off Suzuki - they might find themselves in a spot where they can't get the money they need at a price they need to keep being successful. And, old men eventually die.

      I like the Piaggio idea - 2-wheeled transportation will remain important and even grow around the world, and Piaggio may just have the basic engineering just right (plus add VW fuel and EV engine technology). I might be biased on this one, though, since I love Piaggio.
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    10. Member kevin splits's Avatar
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      02-09-2013 10:49 AM #10
      I think we need the new Scirocco before he worries about taking over the auto world.
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    11. Member SteveMKIIDub's Avatar
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      02-09-2013 11:33 AM #11
      May as well. At least if they run into trouble down the road they have 12 other things they can sell to stay alive.
      "I don’t want the company to be driven by numbers. I want it to be driven by making better cars and contributing to society. That will turn into profit, which we can use to develop better cars. That should be the cycle, and that will, as a result, build a company with a strong foundation."
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    12. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      02-09-2013 11:45 AM #12
      If the guesser - I mean, writer - is correct, then perhaps he's holding DKW as a trump card for Asia and planning on using it as Nissan is using Datsun there. If so, then no matter what happens, he was 'right'.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
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    13. Administrator George@Fourtitude's Avatar
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      02-10-2013 01:16 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by Air and water do mix View Post
      If the guesser - I mean, writer - is correct, then perhaps he's holding DKW as a trump card for Asia and planning on using it as Nissan is using Datsun there. If so, then no matter what happens, he was 'right'.
      I think I was pretty explicit that I was guessing, mentioning that twice in the last two paragraphs. Lucky you called me out though, just in case someone missed that already.

      DKW. What's the draw? I've heard the theory, but I'm not sure what the compelling case is.

    14. Member TM87's Avatar
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      02-10-2013 01:29 AM #14
      Asia makes all the sense in the world. Ever growing market w out a lot of rules.
      "Your pants too tight,your wheels too bright"

    15. Member nm+'s Avatar
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      02-10-2013 01:39 AM #15
      Has this man met GM? Lots of badges isn't exactly great.
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    16. Member Ark6's Avatar
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      02-10-2013 02:44 AM #16
      What the hell is he planning? World domination?

    17. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      02-10-2013 02:46 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Ark6 View Post
      What the hell is he planning? World domination?
      The master race(car).
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      I hope deadmau5 is on a forum somewhere calling patrikman a douchebag too.
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    18. Member nm+'s Avatar
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      02-10-2013 02:54 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Ark6 View Post
      What the hell is he planning? World domination?
      Bankruptcy.
      Quote Originally Posted by Ducky TSX
      The Car Lounge likes to compare apples to llamas

    19. Member TM87's Avatar
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      02-10-2013 04:02 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by nm+ View Post
      Has this man met GM? Lots of badges isn't exactly great.

      I wouldn't consider VAG and GM a like. GM sold rebadge cars in same market, while VAG has them spread across the world. Skoda and Seat are not selling in the same market areas. In NA they only have VW and Audi. I dont count Porsche, Lambo, Bentley, Buggati.
      GM has Pontiac, Chevy, Buick, Saturn all producing same cars on same platforms to same market. They where essentially competing against each other.
      "Your pants too tight,your wheels too bright"

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      02-10-2013 04:03 AM #20
      He's going to buy Alfa...... Then he will buy Honda and shut it down for good.... lol Like putting down and old horse ..... lol
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    21. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      02-10-2013 04:05 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by GCAutoparts View Post
      He's going to buy Alfa...... Then he will buy Honda and shut it down for good.... lol Like putting down and old horse ..... lol
      wat.
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      I hope deadmau5 is on a forum somewhere calling patrikman a douchebag too.
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    22. 02-10-2013 04:39 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      The master race(car).
      I'm really just here for the pancakes.
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    23. Member nm+'s Avatar
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      02-10-2013 04:58 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by TM87 View Post
      I wouldn't consider VAG and GM a like. GM sold rebadge cars in same market, while VAG has them spread across the world. Skoda and Seat are not selling in the same market areas.
      Skoda, SEAT, VW, and Audi all sell in Europe. They have massive overlap. I'd argue that Porsche also overlaps with Audi (Panamera v. A/S8, Cayenne v. Q7, Cayman v. TT-RS, 911 v. R8), and Lamborghini overlaps with it's high end. In Europe, I can't see a person not cross shopping two or more VAG vehicles, in every major category.
      Yes, they have differences but so do (did) Chevy, Buick, Pontiac, Saturn, GMC, and Caddy.

      Also buying a chinese brand would be stupid. The reason VW, Audi and hell Buick sell so well is that they are not chinese brands, even if they are made in china. Yes, there is a quality issue, but there is also the badge and perceived quality which is probably more valuable.
      Plus there are limits on foreign ownership of car brands. Why do you think VWs are built by others there?
      Same deal with India.

      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      wat.
      VW fanbois are convinced there is a rivalry between them and Honda.
      Last edited by nm+; 02-10-2013 at 05:06 AM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Ducky TSX
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    24. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      02-10-2013 05:05 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by nm+ View Post
      Skoda, SEAT, VW, and Audi all sell in Europe. They have massive overlap. I'd argue that Porsche also overlaps with Audi, and Lamborghini overlaps with it. In Europe, I can't see a person not cross shopping two or more VAG vehicles, in every major category.
      Yes, they have differences but so do (did) Chevy, Buick, Pontiac, Saturn, GMC, and Caddy.


      VW fanbois are convinced there is a rivalry between them and Honda.
      Oh,I know all about the false sense of entitlement that dubbers share. Annexing and then dissolving Honda is akin to manifest destiny. Once that is accomplished, they will be a shoe-in @ racewars.
      Did you know you can use old motor oil to fertilize your lawn?
      Quote Originally Posted by rconn14 View Post
      I hope deadmau5 is on a forum somewhere calling patrikman a douchebag too.
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    25. 02-10-2013 05:09 AM #25
      Trabant. Retro-brand.

    26. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      02-10-2013 09:08 AM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by George@Fourtitude View Post
      I think I was pretty explicit that I was guessing, mentioning that twice in the last two paragraphs. Lucky you called me out though, just in case someone missed that already.

      DKW. What's the draw? I've heard the theory, but I'm not sure what the compelling case is.
      Sorry, I would've worded that a bit differently had I realized you weren't pulling that from elsewhere. I didn't mean it as a slight so much as I did to reemphasize/clarify that I understand it as speculation. You know how it is with rumors, one person takes it seriously and the next thing you know, it's "fact". The Car Lounge is certainly no exception to that rule.

      I this scenario, my guess is that DKW isn't so much a "draw" as it is another outlet that they can use for extremely low-end cars for emerging markets without "tainting" their more established brands. This brand puts them in a slightly better position than Datsun does with Nissan, as many Datsuns are remembered fondly. I could be wrong here, but I don't think the same would be said of DKW in Europe.

      Perhaps if they acquire the brands that they want, they wouldn't have to do that and his prediction would be 'correct' without it.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    27. Member vwpiloto's Avatar
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      02-10-2013 09:42 AM #27
      And to think that Wiedeking and company almost caught him napping and were about to take his empire away. What luck!

      It's a tough guess to make as to which brand, because they've been fairly successful in making existing brands successful as operations, and able to penetrate new markets. So they could buy a brand like Alfa and expand its appeal and reach and achieve profitable growth. Or they could just as easily start a Chinese brand, though doing so would require them to share with a Chinese partner, which I don't see them wanting to do. Yes they already do to sell VWs in china, but I don't see them wanting to do so more than they have to.

      A long shot, and two strong personalities would collide, but it would be interesting to see a giant like VW team with Tesla. Economies of scale from their Audi/Bentley chassis along with Tesla's unique powertrain, or scaled down versions of Tesla's powertrains in Golfs and Polos.

    28. 02-10-2013 11:32 AM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by nm+ View Post
      Skoda, SEAT, VW, and Audi all sell in Europe. They have massive overlap. I'd argue that Porsche also overlaps with Audi (Panamera v. A/S8, Cayenne v. Q7, Cayman v. TT-RS, 911 v. R8), and Lamborghini overlaps with it's high end. In Europe, I can't see a person not cross shopping two or more VAG vehicles, in every major category.
      Yes, they have differences but so do (did) Chevy, Buick, Pontiac, Saturn, GMC, and Caddy.
      See if Piech cares whether he sells you Cayman or TT, A8 or Panamera, Golf or Octavia. In the end, it all goes in the same pocket... his. And since he can share development costs over more models and brands, in the end his profits are higher than without some overlapping.

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