Dr Ferdinand Piëch's reign at Volkswagen has been - all things considered - rather a mixed bag. The much-lauded policy of platform sharing across a multitude of brands has failed to assuage concerns over Volkswagen's structural problems and poor financial performance. Now, speculation is increasing that Volkswagen AG is considering a range of moves to protect its independence, including spinning off Audi. Moves by the European Commission to address Germany's protective 'Volkswagen Law' and a perception that VW's share price is low have increased rumours of interest. David Leggett considers the issues.