LONDON - Last week Volkswagen bought Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and agreed to build a luxury sport-utility in a joint venture with Porsche. This week it could buy Lamborghini.
In a flash, Ferdinand Piech has given his company the world's widest product range, from the 1.0-liter Seat Arosa to the 5.4-liter Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph.
And some executives said VW would build a new, small plant in Dresden, Germany, for the assembly of a handful of handmade luxury cars.
VW sources in Hamburg for the annual stockholders meeting said the plant will be needed in addition to the Rolls-Royce plant in the UK. The sources said that 40 to 50 luxury cars will be produced there annually. Volkswagen executives have discussed making a megaluxury car a notch above Rolls-Royce.
'It's not a plant making much volume or enormous profit,' said a VW executive. 'It's more like a piece of jewelry.'
The other jewel on the market is Italy's Lamborghini. Its owners were in London last week to discuss selling the company, and VW is a bidder.
For several years, Piech has been pushing his company upscale. He compares Skoda with Volvo, Seat with Alfa Romeo and Volkswagen with Mercedes-Benz. He has authorized a W-8 or larger Skoda, a W-12 Volkswagen.
His existing luxury brand, Audi, has had huge success, notably with the small A3, and it is about to add the TT coupe and convertible.
Many details of the Rolls-Royce purchase were left to be worked out, but the victory over BMW for the best-known luxury car brand gives Piech a flying start toward his goal.
Vickers plc accepted Volkswagen's £430 million ($700 million) bid for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW had bid £340 million.
VW also agreed last week to buy Cosworth Engineering from Vickers for £120 million ($200 million). Cosworth would make engines for Rolls-Royce and Audi.
The Rolls-Royce purchase is expected to be completed on 3 July.
'The acquisition of another brand is just one element' of VW's luxury strategy, said Bruno Adelt, VW board member for finance. 'The revenue expectations will satisfy the shareholders for the long term.'
Beatrix Israel, Mark Cooney and Luca Ciferri contributed