The surprise resignation of Volkswagen CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder may have been orchestrated by VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech (grandson of Ferdinand Porsche) and major VW shareholder, Porsche.

Analysts have long speculated that Piech was grooming Audi CEO Martin Winterkorn as Pischetsrieder's replacement, while Porsche's 20-percent holding in VW saw Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking gain a seat on the VW supervisory board, alongside Porsche's CFO.

Tuesday's move has analysts speculating that Porsche may expand its influence over VW by increasing its stake enough to gain a third board seat, with some investment bankers going so far as to suggest that Porsche may attempt to buy VW outright, or to swap its stake in VW for control of Audi.

[Source: Automotive News - reg. required]