TURIN - Automobili Lamborghini Holding SpA will take control of Autogerma SpA, the company that distributes Volkswagen group passenger cars and commercial vehicles in Italy.
Verona-based Autogerma was previously controlled by VW in Germany.
Automobili Lamborghini has been a fully owned subsidiary of Audi AG since July 1998.
All of VW group's automotive activities in Italy will now be combined under the umbrella of a single national holding company, as has already happened in Spain.
In Spain, Audi, VW and Skoda activities have been incorporated into Seat SA operations.
The move in Italy may have been made for financial reasons. Autogerma will be consolidated into Lamborghini's books, and its profits could be used to offset the exotic carmaker's losses. Lamborghini is in the middle of a huge investment phase.
Autogerma distributes 300,000 vehicles a year, generating revenues of E4 billion. Lamborghini builds around 250 units a year and has revenues of E50 million.
'VW group policy is not to export profits from a country, but to reinvest them within that country,' a Lamborghini insider said.
Based in Sant'Agata Bolog-nese, near Modena, Automobili Lamborghini Holding currently controls three operating companies: carmaker Automobili Lamborghini; manufacturer of high-performance marine
engines Motori Marini Lamb-orghini; and merchandising and licensing unit Lamborghini ArtiMarca.
An Autogerma spokesman said no changes are planned to the company's reporting structure. All Autogerma staff will continue to report to the respective heads of Audi, Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda.
Automobili Lamborghini Holding is chaired by Audi Chairman Franz-Josef Paefgen. Giuseppe Greco is managing director. Greco is also chairman of Automobili Lamborghini.