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VW goes for two wheels

2008-04-18 07:33
Frankfurt - Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech would like Europe's largest car company to complement its stable of brands by acquiring a motorbike maker, he told German magazine Stern.

"I would still like a small, valuable motorcycle manufacturer," he said in an interview held jointly with his cousin, Wolfgang Porsche, who chairs the Porsche supervisory board.

Piech said he still regretted missing out on Italy's Ducati when it was in trouble in 1985 and a buyer could have snapped it up for peanuts.

"I myself drive a Ducati. 180 horses and more power per kilogram weight than a 1,001-hp Bugatti," said the Austrian.

Porsche, which raised its stake in Volkswagen last year to 31% of the votes, aims to acquire majority control as soon as all regulatory authorities approve the takeover.

In the interview with his cousin, the two grandsons of VW Beetle creator Ferdinand Porsche said both clans would unite behind Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking and Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn in a bid to isolate powerful VW labour leader Bernd Osterloh, who had called the takeover hostile.

"Osterloh is sitting on a treetop, and at some point he will have to come down," Wolfgang Porsche said.

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