STUTTGART: Porsche, the German luxury sportscar manufacturer, has increased its stake in fellow auto firm Volkswagen to 50.8%, the latest step in its long-term effort to take over the company outright.

In order to take full control of Volkswagen, Porsche requires a stake of over 75% to finalise a "domination agreement", which would enable it to list VW's revenue and assets in its own books.

Under German law, the region of Lower Saxony currently holds a 20% minority blocking stake in Volkswagen, a provision that has recently been challenged by the European Commission.

VW, which owns marques including Audi, Bentley, Seat, Skoda and Lamborghini, saw its total US market share fall by 3.2% in 2008, but has also announced plans to expand its operations in America.

Data sourced from Business Week (online); additional content by WARC staff