FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- German first division soccer clubs Hannover 96, Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 as well as second division 1860 Munich are on the list of sponsorship deals Volkswagen Group is considering dropping to cut costs amid its emissions scandal, German weekly newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported.
VW said soccer was a major pillar of its sponsoring strategy that it would continue to pursue in the future. "It has not yet been decided what the volume of that will be," the company said in a statement on Sunday.
Europe's largest automaker is battling the biggest business crisis in its 78-year history after admitting in September it installed software in diesel vehicles to deceive U.S. regulators about the true level of their toxic emissions. The deception has affected 11 million vehicles globally, the majority of which were sold in Europe.
On Friday, VW Group said it would cut 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) from its investment plan for next year, capping spending on property, plant and equipment at about 12 billion euros ($12.8 billion), down about 8 percent on its previous plan of around 13 billion euros.
Auto analysts say the company could face a bill as high as 35 billion euros for fines, lawsuits and vehicle refits.
According to Bild am Sonntag, VW spends about 1.5 million euros per season on each of the soccer clubs it could now cut from its sponsorship list. In addition, VW may drop its 5 million-euro-a-year sponsorship of ice hockey club Grizzlys Wolfsburg, the newspaper said.
Last month, first division soccer club VfL Wolfsburg said it had postponed plans for a new multimillion-euro youth training center after VW's emissions scandal.