FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group is weighing options for its Lamborghini supercar brand, as the German automaker moves ahead with an overhaul aimed at more than doubling its market value and getting ahead of an expected industry shakeout, according to people familiar with the matter.
The options VW is mulling include a sale or stock listing, said the people, who asked not to be named because the deliberations are confidential and no decisions have been made. CEO Herbert Diess plans to focus future expansion on the group’s main global brands -- VW, Porsche and Audi -- in a push to channel resources more efficiently and avoid duplicated efforts.
Volkswagen on Sunday said that it has no plans for a sale or an initial public offering of Lamborghini.
"There are no plans for a sale or IPO of Lamborghini. Speculation to this effect is unfounded," a Volkswagen spokesman told Reuters on Sunday.
Lamborghini’s stretch from supercars to roomier utility vehicles probably has helped boost its valuation to about $11 billion, making it a viable candidate for an initial public offering, analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence estimated in August. Sales of the Urus utility vehicle have soared since its introduction in mid-2018. A redesigned Aventador and new hybrid supercar slated to hit the market next year may help boost margins beyond 30 percent, BI’s Michael Dean and Gillian Davis wrote in a report.
Streamlining the brand lineup at the world’s biggest automaker could limit prospects for smaller and less geographically diversified divisions such as Skoda and Lamborghini, said the people.
Diess is targeting a market value for Volkswagen of 200 billion euros ($220 billion), the people said, from about 81 billion euros now. His efforts are aimed at helping VW defy the auto industry’s current gloom and keep both existing peers and new rivals from the technology industry at bay, the people said.
In intense debates earlier this year, VW’s top management decided against pursuing the sale of units like Bugatti for now, partly because it was unclear if sub-scale assets could be divested without paying cash on top, according to one person. Still, smaller nameplates might face reshuffling going forward.
VW has started preparations to fold Lamborghini into a separate legal entity and the process might conclude toward the end of next year, according to the people.
Reuters contributed to this report.