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Volkswagen’s new CEO says he’s considering spin-off of non-core brands

  • VW recently appointed a new CEO and outlined a revamped organizational structure.
  • The automaker told shareholders that it may sell off three of its non-core businesses.
  • Fresh data has shown that the sales of new diesel cars are continuing to fall across Europe.

The world's biggest automaker has said it is considering the sale of some of its non-core businesses.

Volkswagen is undergoing a transformation after recently appointing CEO Herbert Diess. Addressing an audience at VW's annual shareholder meeting in Berlin on Thursday, Diess said some assets may now be readied for sale.

"For non-core businesses such as Ducati, Renk and Man Diesel & Turbo, we will draw up sustainable future perspectives," he said.

Ducati is a motorcycle brand, Renk makes transmissions and bearings while Man Diesel & Turbo builds large engines, often for use in ships.

Volkswagen shares gyrated during Thursday's morning session and were about half a percent lower by the meeting's end.

Kirsztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It is almost three years since VW was caught fitting cheat devices to fool testers into measuring lower than actual levels of nitrogen oxides emitting from its diesel cars.

The automaker has claimed that its new diesel engines will hit the European Union's beefed-up emissions targets by improving filters and building in electric generators to start cars.

However, data released Thursday underlined that a slowdown persists in the total number of diesel cars sold across the European Union.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said that in the first quarter of 2018, 37.9 percent of newly registered cars ran on diesel, marking a 17 percent fall from the same period a year earlier.

By the same comparison, new cars running on petrol rose almost 15 percent to account for 55.5 percent of all cars sold.

Electrically-charged cars saw sales jump by 47 percent, although the alternatively-powered market still only accounted for around 6.5 percent of total sales during the first quarter.