The head of the Volkswagen brand, Wolfgang Bernhard, is considering leaving as a result of the change of management of the Volkswagen group.

Handelsblatt online reported that Bernhard threatened to resign earlier this year if Martin Winterkorn, currently head of the Audi brand, became group CEO.

Now Winterkorn has been named successor to Bernd Pischetsrieder from the beginning of 2007, he is reportedly planning a complete restructuring of the group, undoing work that Bernhard was largely responsible for.

Winterkorn plans to set up a premium group of brands, comprising Audi, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini, and a group of mass market brands comprising Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda. This is very different to the current structure in which Skoda, Bugatti and Bentley belong to the Volkswagen group of brands and Audi, Seat and Lamborghini are in the Audi group which encompasses 'sporty' brands.

Handelsblatt concluded that Bernhard has little choice but to leave.

Newspapers have been speculating that Bernhard will return to DaimlerChrysler, where he was formerly Chrysler CEO. Bernhard is still a close friend of DaimlerChrysler chief executive, Dieter Zetsche.

According to TheCarConnection.com, any move back to Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart appears to have been blocked by German union representatives on the DaimlerChrysler supervisory board. A return to Chrysler is also unlikely.

"Wolfgang isn't coming back to Auburn Hills," one insider told TheCarConnection, adding: "There is no job for him."