"I think Sergio Marchionne is trying to increase volumes to lower costs and to survive through Chrysler and possibly Opel, but I wonder if he will be able to succeed because successfully managing several brands and obtaining true synergies is really difficult," the CEO was quoted as saying by Autonews.
Winterkorn believes it takes years to form viable relationships between brands. And he might know what he is talking about, given that he oversees no less than seven different brands: Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen.
Volkswagen's CEO goes even further and tries to give a glimpse into the future. In his opinion, in about ten years, the crisis purging will leave standing two or three manufacturers in Germany, one or two in France, two in the US and Japan and only one in Italy. As for the Chinese industry, well, they count in the hundreds, so he declined to predict how many will survive.
As for Fiat, it is unlike it will stop its attacks. The company is riding the high waves and may have found a solution to the brand integration problem: put them all together, turn the companies into one and go for it.