VW rules out new acquisitions in race to be world auto leader | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 31.08.2012
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VW rules out new acquisitions in race to be world auto leader

German car maker Volkswagen has said it has no plans for new takeovers after a number of recent acquisitions. Streamlining production is to be given priority in its bid to become the world's biggest carmaker.

Volkswagen would "pause" in its efforts to buy up additional car manufacturers, as integrating recent acquisitions in the company's was "challenging enough," VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said.

"At the moment, we have enough to do, making the 12 brands in the company fit for reaching our goal of becoming world auto industry leader by 2018," he told the German business daily Handelsblatt Friday.

The world's second largest carmaker, behind only US company General Motors (GM), recently acquired truck maker MAN, as well as Ducati motorcycle company and German sports car manufacturer Porsche.

Winterkorn ended speculation about a takeover of Alfa Romeo, saying the Italian carmaker was an "appealing brand," but that Volkswagen was busy integrating the components of its luxury car division, consisting of Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti.

In addition, the CEO ruled out the acquisition of Malaysian carmaker Proton, despite noting that VW needed to "boost its efforts" in the southeast Asian region.

"This doesn't mean that we are planning to buy Proton in Malaysia, as some have speculated," Winterkorn said.

Last year, Volkswagen overtook Japan's Toyota Motor Company as the world's second largest carmaker.

Driven by booming sales of 8.3 million vehicles in 2011, the Wolfsburg-based company has a plan to outsell GM, which sold nine million, to become world auto industry leader by 2018.

uhe / rc (Reuters, dpa)

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