Volkswagen's powerful supervisory board chairman, Ferdinand Piech, left open the possibility of Europe's largest car maker acquiring further brands saying a dozen is easier to remember than ten.

Volkswagen agreed in August to buy a 42 percent stake in the sports car unit of debt-ridden Porsche SE, for 3.3 billion euros ($4.80 billion).

The Porsche marque would be the 10th brand in its stable that already includes Audi, Bugatti, Bentley, Lamborghini, Skoda, Seat and Scania.

On the eve of the Frankfurt Auto Show, Piech was asked by reporters on Monday how likely it was that VW could acquire further brands. This is already being talked about, he said, but declined to specify whether he was referring to internal talks or talks with competitors.

Now Porsche is fine, now we can go on again, Piech said. He also said he had given up on acquiring an Italian motorcycle brand.

Volkswagen Chief Financial Officer Hans Dieter Poetsch was asked whether there were already talks with rivals. Everybody talks to everybody, he said, adding: It's not a big secret that we have a big position in MAN.

Volkswagen, with almost 30 percent, is the largest shareholder in truckmaker MAN AG and has also gained majority control of Sweden's Scania in its effort to establish itself in the trucks business.

There have been persistent rumours that VW would be interested in a tie-up with Japanese carmaker Suzuki Motor Corp and a person familiar with the matter had told Reuters in August that there had already been talks.

At the event on Monday, VW's Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said that the product portfolio of Suzuki would fit well with that of VW group, but he declined to comment further.

Volkswagen is constantly looking to see what could fit, Winterkorn said, referring to the VW brand portfolio.

CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC

Winterkorn said there were increasing signs of recovery in the automotive market but he cautioned the crisis was not over yet. The industry can be cautiously optimistic, he said.

Volkswagen was one of the main beneficiaries of a German car-purchase incentive scheme, which ran out earlier this month and boosted national car sales, particularly smaller models.

Winterkorn said VW's group deliveries rose 9.5 percent in August and were down 2.1 percent year-to-date. The global car market fell 14 percent in the months from January to August.

(Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner, Edward Taylor, Arno Schuetze and Jan Schwartz; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)