Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group, reportedly told executives in his company that “sacred cows” will be slaughtered. This is an eerie warning to some of the brands that live under the VW Group umbrella. Of the current 12 – including Audi, Porsche, SEAT, Skoda and Ducati – a handful are making losses that VW Group may no longer have the desire to carry going forward, especially in the new world of electric cars.

Although Diess did not name any specifically, it is easy to imagine a brand like Bentley for instance, being in the firing line. Similarly Bugatti is another. Two halo brands whose cars are the stuff of wet dreams, but whose balance sheets are the stuff of nightmares. The late former company boss Ferdinand Piech was the chief architect of the current Group and had he not been interrupted by “dieselgate” he might have added even more brands, like Alfa Romeo which he openly admired. Today Volkswagen is more like a software company with over 4 000 software engineers working towards its future. Anything that does not align with this is under serious threat.

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