Let Them Eat Strudel: Porsche Chief Dismisses Move to Smaller Cars

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
let them eat strudel porsche chief dismisses move to smaller cars

So there I was, browsing a Bloomberg (three terms or bust!) story about automakers fessing-up to the fact that electric vehicles must take a back seat to “normal” fuel-efficient small cars– which is a pretty good piece of Parisian bloggage in and of itself– when BANG! I run smack dab into a quote from the highest paid auto exec on planet Earth: Porsche SE Chief Wendelin Wiedeking. “Do you believe people will actually switch to smaller cars?” Wendy asked, in the midst of discussing Porsche’s yet-to-unveiled fuel-sucking four-door. Uh, yes? Nein! “This car fits into these times,” Wiedeking insisted. “You should go on a journey in a small car with your four-person family. What will happen is you will have had enough when you get to the border after a couple of kilometers.” Hmmm. Why is Wendy dreaming of heading for the border? Of course, by “people” Wendy means the same sort of customer GM Car Czar Bob Lutz referred to when confronted by the fuel-suckage of the then-new GMT900 SUVs (i.e. rich people don’t care about the price of gas). Meanwhile, back in the world of mass motoring, GM Europe Prez dismissed the impact of his company’s Hail Mary plug-in hybrid Volt: “The ordinary guy has to be able to afford these technologies, and the technology in the beginning will be quite expensive.” Toyota, for some reason, gets the last word. “The Japanese company’s executive vice president for strategy, Mitsuo Kinoshita, was more blunt about a world without low-emission technologies that supplant gasoline. In that scenario, ‘There is no future for automobiles.'”

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  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Oct 04, 2008
    Dutchchris: Luckily for the Industry Mr. Pininfarina himself died a month ago in a scooter crash in Turin. The company is up for sale so maybe the vested interests can scoop it up and prevent disaster. Food for conspiracy theorists really. My guess is that Exxon-Mobile was somehow involved. If you run "Rex Tillerson" thru the new Sjd6 hash algorithm, you get "ayotto" - which, when re-arranged, spells 'Toyota'.

  • No_slushbox No_slushbox on Oct 04, 2008

    $10 that a Civic sits four more comfortably than a Panamera.

  • TireGuy TireGuy on Oct 05, 2008

    Porsche targets a different group of buyers than GM. Even if the electric automobile comes, it will be possible to show that it works only in big numbers. Once the Golf or Corolla will sell 50% as Hybrids or whatever, then companies like Porsche can check whether it makes sense to offer this as well. Porsche has a competitive advantage, a unique selling proposition. GM does not.

  • Alextheman Alextheman on Oct 06, 2008

    when i first saw the picture i honestly thought it was another "pimped" out ricer mobile... way to go porsche