The European Union approves of Volkswagen AG’s plan to buy various auto businesses that belong to bankrupt German company Wilhelm Karmann GmbH. Under this deal, VW will get control of Karmann's divisions for car and components development, contract manufacturing, plant engineering as well as the development and production of equipment and tools.
In a statement, the European Commission, the EU competition watchdog, said that in looking at the suppliers and the moderate market share of Karmann, the Commission concluded that car manufacturers will continue to have adequate alternative suppliers after the transaction.
Last year, Karmann filed for bankruptcy protection due to the drop in demand. The coachbuilder and roofspecialist is best known for creating the Karmann Ghia, a VW Beetle-based coupe.
VW has started to outline plans to start producing cars at Karmann's factory in Osnabrueck in VW's home state of Lower Saxony.
Volkswagen revealed that production of a Golf convertible will start in the spring of next year, adding a total of 1,800 jobs by the end of 2011.
In a tour of the facility last month, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn applauded the specialist skills of the former Karmann work force. [via autonews - sub. required]