Porsche CEO bids to run sports car brands in revamped VW
By Andreas Cremer and Ilona Wissenbach
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Porsche's top executive is bidding to lead sports car operations at its parent Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) as Europe's biggest automaker adopts a new structure to boost foreign sales and profits.
The German company is aiming to decentralize, ceding more power to foreign divisions and brands in a bid to boost sales in the United States and other markets and become more nimble, sources told Reuters in June.
Porsche Chief Executive Matthias Mueller, a member of VW's top management board, said on Tuesday the panel wants to give more responsibility to tie-ups between brands within the parent group and tossed his hat into the ring to run a combination of Porsche, Bentley and Bugatti.
"I would like to take up this task," the executive said in an interview at the Frankfurt auto show.
The 12-brand VW group "can no longer be managed in this centralized way," he said, adding that no decisions on brand lineups or personnel have been taken yet.
A tie-up of Porsche and Bentley "would be a logical step into the future," Mueller said, adding that Bentley's next-generation Continental model shares Porsche's modular MSB platform with the sports car brand's Panamera coupe.
VW has more than doubled auto sales and almost tripled profit over the past eight years, VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn told Reuters TV on Monday, adding that top players "must adjust the company structure to new (sales) volumes and other challenges."
VW's new company structure, to be discussed by the supervisory board on Sept. 25, may spark a wider reshuffle of managers that could cause sales chief Christian Klingler to lose his job, source said in June.
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer and Ilona Wissenbach; editing by Ludwig Burger)
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