Vincent Boland: More twists and turns ahead as VW tries to steer a way into the future

The car maker’s plans to generate capital for an electric revolution through the sale of Porsche may backfire due to the dominance of its three biggest shareholders

Herbert Diess, chairman of Volkswagen Group, in the VW ID.3 electric car: Diess unveiled a €52bn strategy to match Tesla in the production of electric cars. Picture: Getty

In late October 2008, as banks crashed, stock markets tumbled and the global financial crisis tightened its grip, something very odd happened in another corner of the business world. For one day that month, in a never-to-be-repeated performance, the German car maker Volkswagen became the world’s most valuable company.

How that happened is a convoluted tale of industrial rivalry, family ties and derivatives. The seed was sown a few years earlier when Porsche, the luxury-car ...