VW explores options to expand its trucks business image

Volkswagen AG’s trucks business is open to acquisitions or even a public listing, VW trucks executive Andreas Renschler told Bloomberg.

Volkswagen hired ex-Daimler executive Andreas Renschler and created a holding company for its MAN and Scania heavy-truck units last year, in an attempt to better compete with industry leaders Daimler and Volvo. With the new structure being separated from VW’s passenger car operations, the division is exploring ways to expand its business on markets that currently are not so profitable as they could be. VW’s trucks head told Bloomberg in an interview that US and China are among key markets that should be further explored, as the unit has no significant presence in these regions. However, he did not want to reveal the exact details of the expansion plan or its specific targets. “We’re keeping all options open on our way to becoming a global champion,” Renschler said in the interview in Munich. “In the long-term, the North American market is of course interesting for us, but it has to be a good fit for us as well as for a possible partner.” As for China, Volkswagen is seeking to expand with partner Sinotruk Hong Kong in the mass-market segment as well as boosting the higher-end business of selling its own MAN and Scania vehicles.

“Shareholders would certainly welcome an Initial public offering of VW’s trucks business as the company would start lifting value after decades of empire building,” Arndt Ellinghorst, a London-based analyst with Evercore ISI, said in a note to Bloomberg. He estimates the combined value of VW’s truck assets at about 20 billion euros (22.3 billion dollars). Last year, Manager Magazin, citing company sources, reported that Volkswagen may restructure its trucks business so that it could be spun off from the main group.

Via Bloomberg