Volkswagen Chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder vigorously defends the German automaker's move upscale with luxury VWs and the purchase of Bentley, but he thinks a small BMW is silly.
Speaking to financial analysts in London last month, Pischetsrieder said the VW Phaeton successfully met all its technology objectives, adding: "We expect to sell 6,000 models this year with the introduction of the six-cylinder diesel in the autumn."
Bentley is another success story, he said, following the company's investment in the UK production facilities and in the new mid-size model.
"People say we have lost E2 billion on Bentley, but I prefer to say we have invested E2 billion," he said. "The factory in the UK is now a showpiece and the order book is full, but we will never produce more than 10,000 Bentleys a year."
But Pischetsrieder was critical of his former company, BMW, for moving downscale by launching the new 1 series this month.
"When I worked at BMW, I urged the company to keep its hands off the 1 series," he said. "I believed that if it turned out to be a bad car then it would be bad for the reputation and if it were a good car it would bad for the 3 series."