These are very challenging times for the automotive industry, and watching the moves made by the major players is very interesting and telling of the challenges lying ahead.
Take for example the latest plans of the Volkswagen Group. CEO Herbert Diess is reportedly planning to put Bentley under the direct control of Audi. Much like Lamborghini, the British super luxury brand would be coordinated by the head honchos in Ingolstadt rather than Wolfsburg.
The plans have been made public by Automobilwoche, which cites company sources as saying that VW wants to give Bentley a fresh start under Audi. Currently, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume has responsibility for the Bentley brand on VW Group’s management board.
If these plans turn out to be the real deal, it means Audi will oversee Bentley’s technological and financial activities starting next year.
As previously reported, Diess aims to streamline VW Group’s brand portfolio, which includes a number of luxury, mass-market and high-performance brands.
VW is said to be currently reviewing whether high-performance brands like Lamborghini, Bugatti and Ducati have a future within the company as the group increasingly focuses on electric, digital and autonomous vehicles.
Bentley posted a profit last year but will probably lose money this year because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Brexit also threatens the brand’s competitiveness: if the UK leaves the EU without a trade deal, profits could be cut by up to 25%.