By on May 6, 2011

There have been a number of important meetings in the auto industry over the last several years that TTAC dearly wishes it could have been a fly on the wall for, including GM’s decision to keep Opel, Fiat’s negotiations with the White House and Saab’s visit to its local payday loan store, to name just a few. But perhaps one of the more interesting boardroom battles of recent years has to be the new VW-Porsche Group’s struggle over how to brand its forthcoming mid-engine sportscar platform which first debuted as the VW BlueSport. Bertel reported last Summer that Porsche, Audi and VW were all bidding for the group’s sportscar development work, but that Porsche was likeliest to emerge with the title.

And it turns out he was right, as Auto Motor und Sport reports that VW has solved the problem by canceling Audi’s planned version of the BlueSport, leaving small mid-engine sportscar efforts in the hands of Porsche and VW. Though the decision makes the BlueSport’s branding challenge quite a bit easier (while cementing the prominence of firms related to Ferdinand Porsche at the expense of the Horch-created Audi brand), it has one less-than-ideal outcome: it removes Audi’s ability to bracket Tesla’s Roadster, a move which would have surely hurt the Silicon Valley upstart. Still, internal politics are more important than obliterating a limited-production competitor… and at least VW has its branding ducks back in one relatively orderly line.

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13 Comments on “VW Ends Sportscar Branding Battle By Screwing Audi...”

  • avatar

    Porsche the cars, Audi the… suvs.

    I’m glad. Mostly.

    Too bad about the Cajun.

  • avatar

    VW, Audi, Porsche product line up is confusing. Seems like they work against themselves, instead of their competitors.

  • avatar

    Three of my last four cars have been VWs. I bought them because they were decent looking, fuel efficient, affordable, FUN TO DRIVE cars. All VW needs to really dominate affordable cars is RELIABILITY.

    That’s what VW should focus on – decent looking, reliable, efficient, fun cars.

    Leave “luxury and technology” to Audi and all-out sports/enthusiast cars to Porsche.

    Their product mix and presence in the US should not be any more complicated than that.


  • avatar

    Have two questions. How it will or will not hurt Tesla if it is VW or Audi. Audi is gussied up VW. Are they stupid? It would be easier to sell it as pricier Audi than VW. I would rather buy Audi than VW even if it is exactly the same car – VW does not have any cache except of making owner look not so smart for buying car that will look like junk in three years.

    Second question is – when to expect 911 version made under VW brand? They are right – Porsche and VW have common roots, and Audi is just the trophy.

  • avatar

    You have to pity Audi; their market is squeezed from the top by Porsche and the bottom by VW. Trapped in the aether somewhere between the driver oriented BMW and the driver coddling Mercedes. The Ace up their sleeve used to be Quattro, but everyone has AWD now even if most customers can’t tell the different systems apart. Their slow styling evolution means at least the latest cars are recognizable albeit rather indistinguishable from previous generations, and they’re only the hiring of one Chris Bangle wannabee away from screwing that up too.

    • 0 avatar

      @Sitting, no need to pity Audi — they sell all the cars they can build, and are stunningly profitable. At the rate they are growing, they may well surpass both BMW and Mercedes by 2015 (the latter will likely be the easier challenge). Marchionne can only dream of the same for Alfa.

      Of course, it’s always possible to screw up a good thing.

  • avatar

    Hey, Audi – Boeing called. They’re missing the turbines out of four 737 engines.

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