Volkswagen Plant, Wolfsburg, Germany (photo by Richard Bartz)
Now that Audi and Porsche won’t be fighting for LeMans titles, the brands have taken their epic battle to the boardroom to compete for dwindling research and program cash, according to a Reuters report.
According to sources within the Volkswagen Group’s C-suite, the brands are each vying for a piece of the group’s electric future and the money to develop pricey powertrains for upcoming cars. The Volkswagen group announced this year that it would cut back on research for new models in the wake of its pricey diesel cheating scandal.
The struggle between Audi and Porsche—off the racetrack now—focuses on how the profitable brands will be presented in the future following the costly emissions scandal. Audi’s LeMans campaign centered on its diesel-hybrid technology, which the brand won’t pursue further. Porsche’s current campaign isn’t focused on the same technology, and Audi has already dipped its toes into the all-electric Formula E foray.
Porsche has already secured the Volkswagen Group’s 8-cylinder engine development and large sports car programs, even though Audi has its own its own engine facility in Gyor, Hungary.
“For Audi, it has always been difficult to accept if Porsche gets something. They tried to resist the Porsche platform but in the end, a business decision was made,” a Porsche source told Reuters.
For now, VW plans on cutting roughly 30,000 jobs, but division chiefs are keen to take on new programs to safeguard employees and brands.
The worldwide scandal is expected to cost the Volkswagen Group more than $30 billion.