Volkswagen and its former leader, the late Ferdinand Piëch, had a habit of snapping up car companies almost solely because it could. One of those was Lamborghini, but now, according to a new report, VW may or may not offload Lamborghini for many billions.
Autocar has the scoop, which says a €7.5 billion offer was made in recent weeks. There is a Piëch on the periphery, because there must be. There is also something European about all the layers at work here.
The non-binding offer, made in a letter of intent sent to the Volkswagen Group earlier this month, sets out terms for the purchase of Automobili Lamborghini by Quantum Group AG.
The newly established Zurich-based holding company has formed a consortium with London-based investment firm Centricus Asset Management with the aim of creating what it describes as a “technology and lifestyle investment platform” under the working title Outlook 2030.
Quantum Group AG is represented in the acquisition offer for Lamborghini by Rea Stark, a co-founder of Piech Automotive, the Zurich-based company behind the Piëch Mark Zero GT revealed at the 2019 Geneva motor show.
Also among Piëch Automotive executives are Anton Piëch, son of former Volkswagen Group chairman Ferdinand Piëch, and ex-Porsche CEO Matthias Müller. However, it is not known at this stage if they are involved in the acquisition offer.
Lamborghini joins Bugatti in a gray zone of will-it-or-won’t-it-be-sold, as VW has taken a long extended look at Piëch’s empire and thought to itself that maybe it doesn’t need to own multiple supercar companies. Still, a spokesman for Audi, which owns Lamborghini and is, itself, owned by the Volkswagen Group, insisted to Autocar that Lamborghini is “not for sale,” which is what companies usually say up until the moment they are sold.
The offer also sounds like it wants to make Lamborghini more of a luxury brand thing, like how Ferrari makes cars but is almost more a luxury lifestyle brand these days. Lamborghini’s enthusiast fans won’t have much interest in that, but that is also how Lamborghini can cash in.
Anyway, VW is holding on to Bugatti for now, and so it might yet with Lamborghini, too, as Ferdinand Piëch’s legacy apparently isn’t that easy to unwind.