Piech suggests VW will add at least one brand image

Volkswagen AG chairman Ferdinand Piech suggested the company has plans to add at least one brand to the lineup in a bid to become the world’s largest carmaker by 2018.

In an interview with German monthly magazine ADAC Motorwelt, Piech said that his children 10 years from now will drive one of the automaker’s “at least 13 brands.” The Volkswagen Group currently has 12 marques. VW representatives contacted by Bloomberg declined to comment Piech’s words. The 75-year-old executive did not say how the carmaker might add more nameplates. One possibility would be that the 13th brand will be the low-cost marque VW intends to set up by 2015.

VW’s most recent additions were German truckmaker MAN, Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati and iconic sports-car brand Porsche. Piech and other VW executives have also expressed interest in buying the Alfa Romeo brand, but Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said the Milan-based carmaker is not for sale. VW’s chairman described Alfa as a “cult brand” in the ADAC Motorwelt interview.

Back in August, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said the company has enough work on its hands leading the divisions it already owns. Volkswagen has eight passenger car nameplates, a light commercial vehicle unit, two heavy-truck makers and one motorbike brand.