Bentley control may shift to Audi as VW aims for greater cohesion across divisions
This era of the automotive industry is a wild one. Electrification continues to grow at the expense of large displacement engines and traditional technology. Autonomous technologies hold promise, but the reality is that they cost an incredible amount of money to research and develop. That leaves automakers like the Volkswagen Group in a little bit of trouble as it juggles a portfolio of luxury brands that may not lose their weight.
If the rumors that Automobile Week reported on Sunday are true, a worst-case scenario for Bentley – a sale – is not in sight. Instead, the British luxury brand will reportedly take control of Audi, which would allow the two to more easily share the technology for long-term cost savings. When it comes to car electrification at Bentley, the brand was pronounced that we shouldn’t expect. A collaboration with Audi could speed up the schedule as Audi has taken a leading role within the VW Group in electrifying the automaker’s luxury brands.
While that might prevent problems with Bentley, there is another Italian cop in the room that complicates matters: Lamborghini. The company is not exactly known for electric cars, but for large V10 engines with a distinct design. According to Reuters, the division may be on the way to a public spin-off, much like Fiat Chrysler’s dealt with Ferrari. With more independence through a spin-off, this could be a win-win situation. Lamborghini as a standalone entity wouldn’t hurt VW’s electrification goals nearly as much, but VW is likely to remain a huge stakeholder in any public Lamborghini company.
The VW Group did not immediately return Roadshow’s request to comment on the reported possible shocks.
These plans were likely in some form or another way before the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve kept hearing rumors about possible sales of the VW division, including Bentley and Lamborghini. And remember, there is even more overlap when you add Bugatti, which is also subject to its own rumors of sale.
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