September 12, 2017 / 5:29 PM / a month ago

VW's ruling Porsche-Piech clan against asset sales

Volkswagen id concept-cars are pictured before the opening of the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) controlling Porsche and Piech families are against selling any of the company’s assets, the clan’s most senior member said on Tuesday.

Analysts and bankers have been expecting Europe’s largest carmaker to sell assets to make it more nimble and help fund a strategic shift following dieselgate, as well as to meet the cost of the scandal, which has already reached $25 billion.

Volkswagen (VW) asked banks earlier this year to examine options for its motorcycle brand Ducati (NSUG.DE) and transmissions maker Renk, including selling the two divisions, sources have said, as it reviews its portfolio of assets after announcing a major push into electric cars and new mobility services last year.

But after VW’s powerful labor unions have repeatedly opposed any such deal, the carmaker’s controlling Porsche and Piech clan on Tuesday also withheld its backing for divestments.

“Of course the management board has the right to make such strategic considerations,” Wolfgang Porsche, chairman of Porsche SE (PSHG_p.DE), the holding firm through which the two family tribes control 52 percent of VW’s voting shares, told Reuters during the Frankfurt auto show.

“But (asset) sales are currently not on the agenda. These questions have to date not been discussed on the supervisory board,” Porsche, also the clan’s spokesman, said.

Rather than selling assets, Porsche said VW should focus on implementing a turnaround plan for its troubled core autos division which is pushing an increased embrace of electric cars.

“We must continue to rigorously put the future pact into effect,” he said. “And we must become leaner in some places.”

Reporting by Jan Schwartz; writing by Andreas Cremer; editing by Susan Thomas

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