Volkswagen is expected to buy bankrupt Wilhelm Karmann, the niche vehicle producer, for considerably less than the EUR100m (US$150m) that Karmann's stakeholders want.

German media reports suggested VW was prepared to pay EUR65m for the company which filed for bankruptcy protection in April.

Karmann ended 60 years of vehicle production in June when the last Mercedes-Benz CLK rolled off its line.

VW has a long association with Karmann who built the original Beetle-based Karmann Ghia coupe for the company for many years.

Other bidders for Karmann's retractable hard top business, which could be sold separately, are reported to include Magna International and CIE Automotive of Spain.