May the Force Be With You: VW Swallows Porsche

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

The supervisory board of Volkswagen met in Stuttgart today, a symbolic act that documented the occupation of formerly enemy territory. The board of Porsche had pulled an all-nighter before and prepared everything for the surrender: A capital increase was approved, facilitating the entry of another party. A deal with Qatar was sanctioned. The heads of Wiedeking and Härter were presented to the victors on a titanium platter.

After the Volkswagen board meeting was over, VW CEO Winterkorn met the press and stated that the road is clear that leads to a new Volkswagen/Porsche company. Step-by-step, Porsche will be annexed by Volkswagen. As a, well, final solution, the Porsche Automobil Holding will be amalgamated with the Volkswagen AG, Automobilwoche [sub] says.

Winterkorn’s speech writer must be a trekkie: According to Winterkorn, the new company will become a “force field” in the automotive industry. Fears that Porsches could be rebadged as Skodas or Seats were allayed by Winterkorn: Porsche will remain “an independent label.”

The “integrated group of companies” should be ready in 2011. Christian Wulff, Premier of Lower Saxony, owner of 20 percent of Volkswagen’s shares, figures that he keeps his 20 percent in the new company. Qatar will hold around 17 percent. The Porsche clan will keep their 51 percent. Piech and Winterkorn will rule the new empire. Wulff repeated the ambitious goal to dethrone Toyota by 2018. After that, Volkswagen will finally fulfill its founder’s dreams and rule the world.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Th009 Th009 on Jul 24, 2009

    @Kurt: Your wishes about SEAT came true (kind of) in 1984 already! The original SEAT Ibiza (the first SEAT not to be a FIAT clone) had a powertrain co-developed with Porsche, with corresponding badging. Yeah, I drove one, and while it was kind of good-looking in an 80s kind of way (it was a Giugiaro design) and the engine wasn't bad, the rest of the car left much to be desired. (VW bought the company a few years later, and the Ibiza subsequently moved onto the Polo platform.) Incidentally, Nanjing Automobile still makes a car based on the Ibiza Mk1 design and tooling, called the Soyat ...

  • Wsn Wsn on Jul 24, 2009
    kurtamaxxguy : July 23rd, 2009 at 12:06 pm Then again, if India and China decides that VW is the car to own, it could happen. -------------------------------------------------- The Chinese are clearly abandoning VW as of right now. VW once has over 50% of market share in China. That share was in constant decline ever since the entry of Honda, GM, Hyundai and Toyota. An exact repeat of what happened in the US 4 decades ago. At this rate, VW will be an inconsequential player in China in 20 years. As for India, I don't know much. But common sense tells VW won't have an easy time competing with Tata and Honda. And BTW, don't forget about the US and Japan markets. They are still in the top three (along with China). VW has essentially no presence in these two markets.
  • Th009 Th009 on Jul 24, 2009

    @wsn: VW's 2008 sales in China were 1.024 million units (see and so far in 2009 sales are up 23%. VW market share in China has grown every year since 2005. But maybe you have some different numbers?

  • Lichtronamo Lichtronamo on Jul 27, 2009

    Maybe when this finally happens, someone will bring some sanity to the Porsche line up and kill the Cheyanne.