The Volkswagen Group's 12 brands across the passenger, luxury, performance and commercial markets will soon split into four new holding companies, according to new reports out of Europe.
The move is understood to be the result of a push for more productive development cycles and streamlined efficiences, masterminded by CEO Dr Martin Winterkorn.
The group’s volume-selling Volkswagen, Skoda and Seat passenger brands will be managed by former BMW executive Herbert Diess, while Audi, Lamborghini and the newly acquired Ducati will continue to operate under existing boss Rupert Stadler.
Porsche, Bentley and Bugatti will be grouped under the leadership of Porsche boss Matthias Mueller, while the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania and MAN brands will be led by former Daimler Trucks chief Andreas Renschler.
The head of each holding company will sit on a new and smaller management board, while the largest brands - Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche - will be given more development and decision-making leeway.
The reorganisation represents a significant change for Europe’s largest carmaker, breaking away from former Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech’s preference for a centralised management structure and greater autonomy between each brand - although technologies have long been shared across the key marques.
According to industry paper Automotive News, insiders at the Volkswagen Group have claimed that Piech’s structure resulted in a lumbering giant that was slow to react to market changes.
It is believed that the reorganisation is built around a plan for greater efficiency within each group and across technology-sharing projects, while speeding up the decision-making process for each brand.
It is unclear if the restructure will include a streamlining of the Volkswagen Group workforce, which is currently made up of around 600,000 people around the world.