Is Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech eyeing Ferrari as the next addition to VW group's collection of brands? Some in the German press think so.
Piech has already said that he would like Fiat's Alfa Romeo brand, but the "real object of his desire" is Ferrari, Manager Magazin says in its current issue.
VW already has plenty of sporty brands. It is merging Porsche into its portfolio and it owns Lamborghini. In 1998, VW bought the rights to Bugatti -- after, the story has it, Piech's son was thrilled at seeing a vintage miniature Bugatti in a toy shop.
With a cash stash of $27 billion, VW can easily afford Ferrari, Fiat's most profitable brand. Analysts put Ferrari's value at $3.1 billion to $4.8 billion.
In September, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne denied an Italian newspaper report that Fiat may sell Ferrari to raise funds to increase its stake in Chrysler. But he did not rule out selling part of the Italian supercar unit. Rumors in Italy say Fiat may sell shares in Ferrari in an initial public offering while retaining a 51 percent stake.
That could open the door to Piech. Some industry watchers say the 73-year-old grandson of Ferdinand Porsche would be happy with even a minority stake in Ferrari.