Porsche CEO: "What's Happening Here Borders On A Trade War"

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
porsche ceo what s happening here borders on a trade war

In its fight against American CAFE rules, Porsche is ratcheting up the decibels. For background on Porsche’s beef, see here, and here. For a possible way out, see here.

Unconvinced by electrification plans, Porsche’s new boss Michael Macht publicly joined the fray. He doesn’t mince words. “What’s happening here borders on a trade war,” said Macht yesterday evening, while Das Autohaus took notes. “We’ll keep at it. The German auto industry will not give up territory over there unnecessarily.” Financial Times cited Macht as saying that “the Americans are spoiling for a fight.”

If it should come to a blood-letting, the Germans won’t trot to the slaughterhouse as cheerfully as their Japanese colleagues. GM is running around in Europe with its begging bowl. Watch how the needy ward of the American government is being treated in Germany.

As far as Porsche is concerned, the USA is still their largest market, but sales were down 40 percent last year. China is (after Germany) their third largest market and is growing rapidly. For Porsche’s new parent VW, the situation is even more pronounced. In a trade war, they could retreat from the U.S.A. and would barely notice it. Except in their books: VW is losing money stateside. The battlefield of the auto business is Asia.

Join the conversation
5 of 37 comments
  • Maxb49 Maxb49 on Feb 25, 2010
    In its fight against American CAFE rules, Porsche is ratcheting up the decibels. Boo hoo! Cry me a river. Porsche, you are a FOREIGN CORPORATION. Put up with our rules or GTFO.

    • Ajla Ajla on Feb 25, 2010

      +1. Spare us the bitching and bully talk, Porsche execs. Either figure out a way to work with the new rules or leave the US market.

  • Ian Williams Ian Williams on Feb 25, 2010

    Porsche makes performance toys for a relative handful of upper middle class to rich gear heads. Post merger they have access to the VW parts bin. If the fines get too bad they can just badge engineer TDIs or an EV to balance out the fleet.

  • Jimboy Jimboy on Feb 26, 2010

    Too bad Porsche, tough luck Mercedes, bye bye BMW. Surely with the ridiculous profit margins on your gas hog vehicles, you could figure out some way to improve their mileage.. Where is all that arrogant german engineering expertise? Comply with the law or stay home. North America has been far too lenient with foreign automakers who do not practice free trade in their own jurisdictions for far too long. We should be restricting Asian imports as well, until they open up their home markets to us. There is absolutely no reason on earth to let these manufacturers slide under the radar any longer. I'm sure their well heeled customers can pony up a few more euros to cover the cost, if not, move to Germany!

  • John Horner John Horner on Feb 26, 2010

    It always amuses me when countries which run a massive trade surplus with the US scream "TRADE WAR, YIKES!".