DaimlerChrysler 'in talks' with rival Volkswagen

30th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

30 September 2005, HANOVER, GERMANY - DaimlerChrysler is in talks with Volkswagen, a senior politician said Friday in the first hint that the German-U.S. auto group may be mulling a bid for the rival at the same time as Porsche expands its shareholding in ailing VW.

30 September 2005

HANOVER, GERMANY - DaimlerChrysler is in talks with Volkswagen, a senior politician said Friday in the first hint that the German-U.S. auto group may be mulling a bid for the rival at the same time as Porsche expands its shareholding in ailing VW.

Christian Wulff, who is both premier of Lower Saxony state and a member of Volkswagen's supervisory board, said only that DaimlerChrysler was discussing "future cooperation" with VW, the company that invented the Beetle and makes today's mass-market Golf.

He did not mention any kind of acquisition in his remarks.

"My government welcomes DaimlerChrysler's interest in Volkswagen. We have had cordial talks for years and increased cooperation is in the interest of both sides," he told Deutsche Presse-Agentur in Hanover.

A German news magazine, Focus, was set to appear Monday with a report that DaimlerChrysler had repeatedly discussed purchasing a stake in Volkswagen, where profits have tumbled as car sales lag.

Releasing the story before publication, Focus said Volkswagen had invited Stuttgart-based DaimlerChrysler on more than one occasion to take a stake so as to block a takeover by investors with a purely financial motive.

At DaimlerChrysler, a spokesman responded to the report with the words: "Volkswagen has brought up the topic several times with us in recent years." But he said this had never led to anything.

This week the SUV and sports car maker Porsche, which is also Stuttgart-based, said it had acquired 10 per cent of VW and would keep buying shares till it had 20 per cent, overtaking Lower Saxony state's 18.2 per cent to make it principal shareholder in VW.

The only current talks that the DaimlerChrysler spokesman would confirm were discussions on jointly building commercial vans or minivans and he declined any details of how they were proceeding.

DPA

Subject: German news

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