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Bugatti and Lamborghini On The Chopping Block

The Volkswagen Group owns both Bugatti and Lamborghini. With VW’s pivot towards electrification and autonomous driving, it is taking a hard look at all of its assets. For a number of reasons, it is looking more likely that one way or another VW will carve off both Bugatti and Lamborghini. We have a bit more info on Lamborghini so we’ll go there first.

It appears that Volkswagen wants to set up Lamborghini as a separate company. The reasons are first, to list it on the stock exchange according to Reuters, and also as a separate company so it can play with costs and to better attract investors. “Volkswagen is in the process of carving out Lamborghini, and to organize future supply and technology transfer deals,” one of the sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Within the VW Group Lamborghini is a division of Audi. 

Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Ducati were the subject of supervisory board discussions

Bugatti La Voiture Noire poised for success in all black showroom
Bugatti La Voiture Noire | Bugatti

RELATED: Volkswagen Group Selling Bugatti: Are Lamborghini And Bentley Next?

It is known that Bugatti, Lamborghini, and also motorcycle manufacturer Ducati were the subject of supervisory board discussions last week. Also, certain banks and potential big investors were recently approached about a potential Lamborghini IPO filing. All that the Volkswagen Group is saying comes from CEO Herbert Diess who said it will announce “important steps” before the end of the year. 

So Lamborghini looks to be the focus of potential separation from the Volkswagen Group but what about Bugatti? “Brands must be measured against new requirements,” Diess told Reuters. Those requirements are electrification, connectivity, and digitization. Just last month it was reported that the VW Group was selling Bugatti to the Croatian electric component company Rimac. 

Rimac has been developing a fully electric hypercar. Bugatti would dovetail into the development nicely. Porsche has utilized Rimac developments into its own Taycan and has a 15.5% share of Rimac. So, while it would no longer have control of Bugatti under this plan it would still have a stake in the company. 

Volkswagen Group needs to lower its corporate fuel averages in Europe

Lamborghini Huracan Evo is on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The 2020 Lamborghini Huracan EVO | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Besides the economy of scale advantages, Volkswagen Group needs to lower its corporate fuel averages in Europe. Penalties imposed starting this year by the European Union could cost manufacturers millions of dollars if they are not met. So Volkswagen needs to electrify some of its vehicles quickly as one avenue toward that goal. If that is not likely then it could be forced to sell the two brands so that they are not factored into the fuel averages.

Both Lamborghini and Bugatti have had numerous owners over the years. After being closed down for a number of years after its initial revival VW Group purchased Bugatti in 1998. Lamborghini was sold to the Chrysler Corporation in 1987. It was then sold to a Malaysian investment group in 1994 before being acquired by VW Group four years later.

Even Maseratti has had many owners over the years. It is currently controlled by Fiat. So most all of these European supercar manufacturers have had a rough time on their own. It is only through large manufacturing conglomerates that they are able to survive as boutique brands. But now with the rush toward electric and technology advances things are changing quickly.