Monday 23 October 2017

Volkswagen finalises Porsche takeover in bid to be world No 1

Martin Winterkorn (R), CEO of German carmaker Volkswagen. Photo: Reuters
Martin Winterkorn (R), CEO of German carmaker Volkswagen. Photo: Reuters

Andreas Cremer and Christiaan Hetzner

VOLKSWAGEN moved closer to its aim of becoming the world's top car maker by buying up the remaining half of Porsche in a deal that ends a protracted takeover struggle that sparked family feuds and investor lawsuits. The deal will enable VW to escape a tax bill of €1.5bn.

It also allows VW to speed up Porsche's integration into a multi-brand empire that aims to sell 10 million vehicles a year to become the world's No 1 by 2018.

"We're wrapping up one of the most significant projects in the automotive world," VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn told reporters at the group's Wolfsburg headquarters.

"Together we are more capable than ever of becoming the best auto company on the planet," he said, adding that VW was poised to invest "massively" in new shared technologies and production.

Joint projects already under way include Porsche's next model, the Macan compact SUV, due for a 2014 launch. VW also plans to begin assembling some Porsche models in its own plants. VW, already a major player in emerging markets such as China, Russia and Latin America, will also need a bigger US presence if it is to win and maintain the global crown.

Under CEO Winterkorn, VW last year opened a factory in Tennessee, and is adding an Audi plant in Mexico.

Shares in Europe's biggest auto maker rose strongly yesterday after it agreed to buy the remaining half of the sports-car maker for €4.46bn, exercising options held since the purchase of its initial stake in 2009.

"VW is getting a good deal," said London-based Morgan Stanley analyst Stuart Pearson, predicting in a note to investors that its completion would lift VW earnings by 6pc next year.

Irish Independent

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