Germany’s Volkswagen AG denied weeks ago that it was planning a rumored run at Paccar Inc., but only yesterday did the parent of Kenworth and Peterbilt officially squash talk of such a merger, as reported today by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Speculation arose early in July from a research note by industry analysts that attributed Wolfgang Bernhard—who heads the Trucks and Buses Div. of Germany’s Daimler AG— as stating he’d been informed by “serious, multiple sources" that its rival VW would attempt to take over Paccar next year.
A spokesperson for VW had forcefully denied the rumor at the time, calling it "complete rubbish," according to a Reuters news report.
Then. today, WSJ reported that Paccar CEO Ronald E. Armstrong yesterday told reporters on a conference call that "There have been no discussions with Volkswagen… The company continues to focus on running the business day in and day out."
Mr. Armstrong’s unabashed dismissal of any talks with VW transmits Paccar’s position in no uncertain terms.
Yet what would likely have killed off this rumored courtship before it was ever launched is the perceived unsuitability of VW as the suitor.
Such a merger, analysts contend, would never fly with EU antitrust regulators as the combined OEM would immediately attain too large a share of the European commercial-truck market.