VW will decide about Karmann deal within 2 weeks image

Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn on Tuesday said the auto maker will decide within the next two weeks on whether it will buy insolvent assembly firm Karmann.

“We in Lower Saxony are very interested in preserving jobs,” Winterkorn said on the sidelines of an event in Garbsen, Germany.

Winterkorn declined to discuss details of a possible deal, saying he did not want to jeopardise negotiations. It could take another one or two weeks until any decisions could be made public, he said.

“Let’s discuss the topic next week, then we will know more,” he added.

Without fresh funds, Karmann, an independent contract carmaker and convertible roof-top specialist that filed for insolvency in April, will have to shut down in early November.

Volkswagen’s powerful supervisory board chairman Ferdinand Piech, the architect behind the firm’s acquisition strategy, once again hinted that other acquisitions could follow the purchase of Porsche.

Aside from Porsche, truck maker MAN and Suzuki are “real brands” of interest to Volkswagen, Piech said at the same event.

At the Frankfurt auto show in September, Piech signaled he would like to see 12 brands within Volkswagen Group.

Volkswagen executives have repeatedly said they find Suzuki’s expertise in small engines attractive.

The Wolfsburg, Germany-based auto maker is seeking to raise up to 10 billion euros for acquisitions.

In October, Volkswagen took a 49.9 percent stake in Porsche as a first step toward a broader integration with the Stuttgart-based auto maker.

Volkswagen already owns a 29.9 percent stake in truck maker MAN SE and may seek to buy the remaining stake.

For now the Porsche sports car marque is set to become the tenth brand in VW’s stable that already includes Audi, Bugatti, Bentley, Lamborghini, Skoda, Seat and Scania.