According to German business and finance publication Handelsblatt, the Volkswagen Group is looking to slim down and remove a number of low-volume vehicles from various lineups. The company currently sells around 340 models across brands that include Audi, Lamborghini, and Bentley. Volkswagen is refusing to comment, but Handelsblatt claims to have sources within the company.
Last week, Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller announced a new strategy for the company that includes a major focus on electric vehicles and new technology services. During his announcement, Müller said the company would be cutting a number of models, but at the time no numbers, models, or brands were discussed.
Despite comments to the contrary, rumors have persisted since late last year that Volkswagen was looking to sell commercial truck and bus manufacturer MAN. Volkswagen owns truck and bus manufacturer Scania, so even if it dropped MAN, the company would still have a foothold within the bus and truck market. There is also talk of the company selling Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati, which Volkswagen acquired via Audi in 2012.
The company's image has taken a huge hit in the wake of the diesel scandal. Volkswagen has set aside cash in order to pay fines and may be looking to sell these several subsidiaries and cut low-volume models in order offset the costs.
Despite the scandal, the company led worldwide sales in the first quarter of 2016. The same was true in 2015, but sales tanked at the end of the year following the diesel revelations.