VW Headed for Protest Due to Porsche Connection?

vw headed for protest due to porsche connection

Ding ding! Round 2! The title of “Heavyweight Ego of the World” took a new twist today. VW’s powerful works council will summon thousands of employees to protest against Wendelin Wiedeking at a VW supervisory board meeting today. Herr Wiedeking has already has to put up with rumours in the German media that he would be ousted as head of Porsche. The Financial Times (UK) reports that Bernd Osterloh, Volkswagen’s head of works council, had lashed out against Porsche’s management, saying they were “amateurs” and “arrogant upstarts”. But Mr Wiedeking has also fanned the flames by criticising Volkswagen’s management for some of their decisions. Relationships between Martin Winterkorn (head of VW) and Wendelin Wiedeking are cool to the point of frozen. Welcome to the Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston of the auto world!

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  • Wmba Wmba on Sep 08, 2008

    Isn't this takeover of VW by little Porsche partly being driven by the need for better corporate average fuel economy? The US EPA in its infinite dis-wisdom has put all those fuel economy requirements out for 2011 and beyond. Based on a vehicle's footprint rather than weight, it is a system that is so ass-backward it's completely stupid from an engineering point-of-view. Worse than that, it penalizes small manufacturers with their limited product mix far more than large ones. So both Porsche and Subaru have sent in formal complaints to the EPA, because their 2011 lineups are effectively frozen now. However, if Porsche swallows VW, then it gets to mix up its low mpg sports cars with Jetta TDIs, and halleluja!, the day is saved in the US market. Meanwhile Subaru is up s**t creek without a paddle, since it has to get its mpg from an average 23 to 35 in two model years. Good luck with that. No doubt Toyota will step in and relieve Subaru of their burden, ha ha. Anyway check out legacyGT.com for Subaru's letter to the EPA. Other legislators with no brainpower have copied the EPA or California system wholesale here in Canada. I guess that's what happens when lawyers and economists with no technical skill start legislating things they know nothing about. Meanwhile, in Germany the fights between super egos at VW and Porsche continue apace and may yet ruin Porsche's master plan for obscene profit. Will be fun to watch.

  • ChuckR ChuckR on Sep 08, 2008

    wmba +1 I have one of the more frugal Porsches - an 07 Cayman S - and I'm averaging 21-21.5mpg in suburban driving. Any naughtiness and that drops considerably. Bet I can get all the way up to 25mpg hypermiling it in highway driving. I can beat both numbers in my slushbox quattro A6 that weighs 1100# more. What is Porsche doing about the pedestrian standards that (I think) lead to boxlike front ends? They are incredibly profitable but face some regulatory hurdles in the near term. Wonder if they'll wind up an export-only company? The Porsche salesman tells me they are working hard in markets w/o these regulatory constraints - mid-East, Russia, China, etc. to the point that its hard to get cars in the US.

  • SAAB95JD SAAB95JD on Sep 08, 2008

    chuckR - my 2000 Boxster 2.7 is getting 26mpg average... some aggressive accelerating, some highway miles, some city driving in Chicago. It will get as much as 29mpg with all highway driving with cruise control on. Of course it won't qualify for the new CAFE standards, but it is closer. As for the pedestrian standards, I would guess that Porsche is in a better place than other manufacturers because the standards are aimed at "hard points" beneath the hood, mainly the engine... which of course is not in the front of the car... I think that Porsche taking on VW can only help them become more focused... VW needs to refocus on their core business and less on silly things like the Phaeton.

  • ChuckR ChuckR on Sep 08, 2008

    And the hoods are nice soft (relatively)squishy aluminum. Lack of hard points does make sense. As to mileage - 25% bigger engine, 20% worse mileage. If there weren't a bigger engine to tempt me, I might have been just as happy with the 2.7 in your car. I haven't taken a trip yet where I can use cruise control - I'm hopeful it will do better. How can it be worse than a 2.7T hauling 1/3rd more mass over the same route? Porsche could use some help.