Volkswagen’s works council has once again proposed that Volkswagen purchase shares in its major suppliers. The proposal is in response to the current trend for private equity firms to acquire suppliers, which the works council views as dangerous, because of their focus on short-term profits.

Amonst Volkswagen’s biggest suppliers are Siemens VDO, Continental and Benteler.

Works council chairman, Berndt Osterlor, is reported by the dpa-AFX news agency as saying that Volkswagen needs to retain more development capability than ever before in-house, or risk losing the know-how completely.

Before the recent change of management at Volkswagen Group, Volkswagen brand manager, Wolfgang Bernhard, had been trying to dispense with some of Volkswagen’s in-house component manufacturing operations as part of the restructuring of the group. The works council was strictly against this. Volkswagen has a number of component plants in Germany including a gearbox plant in Kassel, a foundry in Hannover and an engine plant in Salzgitter.

Osterloh noted the example of Toyota, where management would under no circumstances allow itself to become dependent on third parties.