Porsche Forms A Collegial Partnership With VW

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
porsche forms a collegial partnership with vw

Deutsche Welle reports that Porsche is officially the Maus that Roared. Porsche Automobil Holdings will shell-out $15b for the final 20 percent of Volkswagen shares. Subject to regulatory approval, Porsche will gain controlling interest in Europe's largest automaker. Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking called the deal "a new and collegial partnership"– immediately evoking unpleasant memories of Daimler’s "merger of equals" with Chrysler. Anyway, there’s a lot of work to be done: VW’s non-existent market positioning, overlapping brands, U.S. product quality, etc. Still, if there's even a remote chance that Porsche’s takeover– sorry, “assistance” will lead to stateside VW's becoming even a little more Porsche-like, the deal has our unqualified blessing. We’re not holding our breath.

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4 of 6 comments
  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Mar 04, 2008

    Bring back the Phaeton.

  • Paul Niedermeyer Paul Niedermeyer on Mar 04, 2008

    Clarification: Porsche Holdings is not Porsche AG, that builds Porsches. The holding company was set up to own shares in both companies (Porsche, VW). It doesn't change the big picture, but the two car building companies are not actually merging into one entity. More like Fiat's relationship with Ferrari. Ingvar: Of course it has Piech's name on it. He's a Porsche family member, and a major stock holder.

  • Carguy Carguy on Mar 04, 2008

    A warning to Porsche - the unstoppable VW steamroller of bureaucracy will crush your spirit and assimilate your products into its world of mediocrity. Just ask anyone at Audi.

  • Ingvar Ingvar on Mar 04, 2008
    "Of course it has Piech’s name on it. He’s a Porsche family member, and a major stock holder." Yes, I know that. What I wanted to clarify was that I don't hear Piech name anywhere in the press concerning this affair, and that this certainly bears his name. I have read a lot of comments like "Oh no! Porsche will wreak VW!", but this move is effectively a continuation of the Piech rule. When he took over as ceo of VW in the early 90s, he changed direction and moved VW further upmarket. Not only the Phaeton and Touareg programs, but what was more important, the Golf/Jetta and Passat, mid 90s. What happened was that VW in one move benchmarked TWO whole sectors in terms of (percieved) quality. And that upped the stakes for all of the competition. The (euro) Ford Focus of 1998 would not have been without Ferdinand Piech. The point is, his rule of acquisitions and badge-engineering will continue, in a field spanning from Skoda to Bugatti. You can count on an entry-level Porsche based on the next-gen Audi TT/VW Scirocco-platform, with an R32 engine. But more importantly, you can count on Porsche cleaning the Volkwagen house off of all political rule, as this, in mind of Ferdinand Piech, is the one thing that have spelt Volkswagens demise in the most recent years.