JULY 6, 1998
...and still prowling
VOLKSWAGEN chairman Ferdinand Piech has dropped his plans to revive the Bugatti name, having failed to agree a deal to buy the marque's name and badge with current owner Romano Artioli. It does not mean that Piech has finished with his buying spree. We would expect Lotus to be next on his list as the company is struggling because of the Asian financial crisis.
It seems that Piech is also after bigger fish with talks last week in Sweden with Volvo's top management and suggestions in Germany that he may be eyeing up Renault for a possible merger or takeover.
In recent months it should be remembered Piech has bought Rolls Royce Motor Cars, Lamborghini and Cosworth with the intention of adding to Volkswagen's healthy portfolio of brands, which includes VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat.
Piech is a big fan of motorsport having trained as an engineer on sportscar racing programs in the 1960s before being appointed technical director of Porsche's Experimental Department at Zuffhausen. He moved to Audi in 1972 and masterminded the company's rally and touring car successes in the 1980s. He became the company's president and in 1993 took over as the boss of the entire Volkswagen group.
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