The latest news in the regime change at Volkswagen is that incoming group chief Prof. Martin Winterkorn is planning some big changes in management structure across the entire corporate spectrum.

Although several don't operate in the US market, Volkswagen AG has grown to GM-like proportions in the number of marques under its umbrella. However, rather unlike GM and other auto-making conglomerates, Volkswagen group members don't cooperate as much in the development of new products. (The Volkswagen and Audi brands, for instance, will often develop separate vehicles with different engines, sometimes even competing against each other, but which could be combined into one project.) As Audi chief, Winterkorn can't have been happy to see Volkswagen stealing any of its market share.

Winterkorn plans on changing all that, placing the group's marques into two categories: volume and premium. Like Ford's Premier Automotive Group (which includes Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar and Aston Martin), VW's new "premium" group will include Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti, while the "volume" group will include Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda. All this should mean better products offered in more packages at lower costs with reduced development times. And that's something any car buyer could appreciate.

What else can we expect from Winterkorn? It's doubtful he'd be willing to throw as much resources behind Bugatti as did his predecessor, but as we can see from Audi's diesel-fueled domination at Le Mans, he evidently believes in the benefits of racing.

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[Source: Motor Authority]

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