Porsche's Wiedeking Writes Letter From Hell

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
porsche s wiedeking writes letter from hell
Wendelin Wiedeking, chief of a bank with attached sheet-metal fabrication named Porsche, used the quiet time between the holidays to sit down and pen a letter to all employees. He had to get it off his chest. Usually, this is the time for well wishes and brave forecasts. This time, it’s different. At least at Porsche. Even the most dopamine-saturated Porsche employee will be deeply depressed after reading Wiedekings new year letter. Sales of Valium and harder drugs, such as Schnapps, probably went through the roof in Zuffenhausen after the letter was opened. Automobilwoche (sub) obtained a copy of the inspirational message.“Don’t let the high profitability of our company fool you. Dark clouds cover the skies. Due to the crisis in the financial markets, we are in a recession which we had not seen for many decades.” So far, so bad. Everybody who can read or watch TV knows that by now.The missive continues with the usual yadda yadda of all auto makers being in a deep sales slump. Aber Achtung! Even Porsche, the company that could make more profits than sales, suddenly is not immune: “Despite being better prepared than most of the competition, we will not remain unscathed by the drops in demand.” Uh-oh. “Reduction in demand” usually is a precursor for “reduction in jobs.” As Wiedeking is looking ahead, the wisdom of building a Cayenne becomes as clear as it possibly can get:Every Porsche worker will need one, because “in front of us lies a rocky road, and we don’t know its distance. Surviving the dry spell will demand our utmost dedication and attention.” Get your Cayenne, top up, and hydrate up, boys!In case people haven’t gotten it at this point, Wendy spells it out: “We will lower our production. We’d rather build one car less than one too many. ” Still don’t understand where he’s going? Ok, write that down: “There is need for serious belt tightening.”Ah, wait, there is one optimistic sentence in Wendy’s letter: “With the launch of the Panamera we will surely succeed in stabilizing our sales in the coming year.”According to the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, Wiedeking made (at today’s rate) $142m in 2008. Good reason for the German business daily Handelsblatt to pronounce Wiedeking the “best paid auto manager of the world.” Compared to Wendy, Mulally and Wagoner earn minimum wage. A little belt tightening should be good for the waistline.But Wiedeking didn’t write the letter to himself. However, he wrote, well, at least he signed it all by himself. Automobilwoche found it worthy to note that the letter was signed by Wiedeking only, and not by the other members of the Porsche board.
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2 of 13 comments
  • Detroit-Iron Detroit-Iron on Dec 30, 2008

    Frankly I don't see how a downturn in the auto industry would have any affect on an investment bank.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Dec 30, 2008

    I see a guy who is trying to delude himself to clear his conscience in advance for what he is going to do(lay offs) by trying to say that management has done the right thing with the Panamera. In reality, management took a gamble that paid off incredibly well, and the workers should get some of the benefits of that. The workers will definitely pay if the Panamera fails, which is fine as well. However, trying to build the case that the Panamera was a good idea before it's proven is crap. Pure and simple. If this guy does unnecessary layoffs, it will bite him in the ass later when the best workers don't want to work for his slimy ass.

  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.https://www.lhd.com.au/lhd-insights/australian-road-death-statistics/
  • Lorenzo In Massachusetts, they used to require an inspection every 6 months, checking your brake lights, turn signals, horn, and headlight alignment, for two bucks.Now I get an "inspection" every two years in California, and all they check is the smog. MAYBE they notice the tire tread, squeaky brakes, or steering when they drive it into the bay, but all they check is the smog equipment and tailpipe emissions.For all they would know, the headlights, horn, and turn signals might not work, and the car has a "speed wobble" at 45 mph. AFAIK, they don't even check EVs.
  • Not Tire shop mechanic tugging on my wheel after I complained of grinding noise didn’t catch that the ball joint was failing. Subsequently failed to prevent the catastrophic failure of the ball joint and separation of the steering knuckle from the car! I’ve never lived in a state that required annual inspection, but can’t say that having the requirement has any bearing on improving safety given my experience with mechanics…
  • Mike978 Wow 700 days even with the recent car shortages.
  • Lorenzo The other automakers are putting silly horsepower into the few RWD vehicles they have, just as Stellantis is about to kill off the most appropriate vehicles for that much horsepower. Somehow, I get the impression the OTHER Carlos, Tavares, not Ghosn, doesn't have a firm grasp of the American market.