VW Says It Is Not Under Pressure to Sell Truck Business

Volkswagen is not under pressure to sell its truck business to raise cash as it faces billions of euros in costs after admitting to rigging emissions tests, management board member Andreas Renschler told a German newspaper.

"The operating results of the Volkswagen group are good, despite everything. There won't be a fire sale," Renschler, who also heads the truck business at VW, was quoted as saying in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) published Jan. 31.

VW hired ex-Daimler executive Renschler last year to align its truckmaker, MAN, with Swedish subsidiary Scania and carve out a global business to better compete with industry leaders Daimler and Volvo.

Asked whether the new structure could mean that the truck business, now separated from VW's passenger car operations, could be spun off and floated on the stock exchange, Renschler told FAS: "Everything is possible, but only if it makes strategic sense."

Renschler said the situation in South America, especially in Brazil, was "extremely difficult" but that it was the right move to wait out the downturn and keep production going in Brazil until the economy recovers.

The market in Russia, meanwhile, appears to have bottomed out, Renschler said, while the American market is likely to decline slightly and Africa shows some promise.

"And then we have hopes for Iran, of course, even if there won't be quite the gold-rush atmosphere that some are expecting," he added.