By John Burns
Volkswagen’s unions have a say in the matter, too. A large one.
From a report in Reuters
BERLIN, July 29 (Reuters) – Volkswagen’s planned sale of motorcycle brand Ducati and transmissions maker Renk has currently no majority backing on the carmaker’s supervisory board, with opponents to asset sales feeling invigorated by the group’s strong results.
Europe’s largest automaker has tasked banks to evaluate options for Ducati and Renk including divesting the two divisions as it aims to streamline operations to help fund a post-dieselgate strategic overhaul.
Volkswagen (VW) has been reviewing its portfolio of assets and brands since announcing in June 2016 a multibillion-euro shift to electric cars and new mobility services as part of its so-called Strategy 2025.
But VW’s labour leaders, occupying half the seats on the 20-member supervisory board which decides on asset sales, resist a sale of Ducati and Renk without compelling financial reasons.
“The employee representatives on Volkswagen’s supervisory board will neither approve a sale of Ducati, nor one of Renk or MAN Diesel & Turbo,” a spokesman for VW group’s works council told Reuters late on Saturday.
“Everyone who can read the VW half-year results should know: We don’t need money and our subsidiaries are not up for grabs by bargain hunters.”
Six-month operating profit at VW group jumped 19 percent to 8.9 billion euros ($10.46 billion), the carmaker said on Thursday, as cost cuts and R&D improvements at the core namesake brand earned VW a respite from the billions of euros in costs for fines, vehicle refits and compensation related to its dieselgate scandal.
Though Ducati is owned by VW’s luxury brand Audi, the VW group’s supervisory board has to approve a possible sale. Audi declined comment.
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