Volkswagen AG is moving forward with its plan to list a minority stake in Porsche, with the latest details suggesting that the initial public offering could manifest by this month – if not early October. It’s set to be one of the biggest IPOs ever. But it’s also sounding like Volkswagen Group may abandon the scheme if the larger political or economic situation continues to sour. Considering the continent’s present trajectory, that doesn’t sound like it’s beyond the realm of possibilities. However, the quick turnaround for the offering may mean VW can get out ahead of any social unrest and financial upheaval. Ideally, the automaker still wants to see the sale happen.
Despite Porsche transitioning to all-electric vehicles with the rest of Volkswagen Group, the brand believes that its customers will still want to drive around vintage gasoline models even after the European Union has banned them into oblivion. This is especially important for the iconic 911, which the company has repeatedly hinted would be one of the last models in its lineup to ditch internal combustion.
With countless racing series already devoted to classic examples of the car, Porsche wants to ensure there’s a solution for motorists who want to do more than pet theirs in a silent garage should the government introduce even stricter standards for automobiles than what’s already coming down the pike. So it’s revisiting alternative fuels — specifically a carbon-neutral alternative to gasoline that would work in traditional engines — from Chilean e-fuel producer Highly Innovative Fuels, with whom it’s already investing.
Despite news that Volkswagen Group’s largest shareholder is eager to list the Porsche brand, rumors are swirling that the plan might be delayed over the conflict in Eastern Europe. VW and Porsche SE have openly shared their desire to launch the initial public offering (IPO) in the fourth quarter of 2022. However Porsche Automobil Holding SE’s finance head has suggested it might not be prudent if Russia is still occupying parts of Ukraine.
“We cannot rule out, if the conflict lasts a longer time, that this could have potential implications on the listing,” CFO Johannes Lattwein recently explained during a press conference held in Berlin, adding that no formal decisions have yet been made.
Volkswagen Group is apparently in talks with Porsche Automobil Holding SE about a potential initial public offering (IPO) for the Porsche luxury/sports brand. According to a statement from VW, the duo has already negotiated the agreed-upon frameworks and is in final discussions as to when they want to move forward.
Weeks of rumor preceded corporate confirmation, making it seem like the proposed deal was already a shoo-in. But any final decisions will still need to be approved by the management and supervisory boards — something Volkswagen Group said has yet to happen.
While it may not be on the cusp of supplanting Toyota in terms of sales, the Porsche brand has enjoyed relatively consistent growth since 2009. Despite 2020 representing a poor sales year for just about everyone who wasn’t producing vaccines, the German manufacturer weathered the storm better than most and came back to break a few records the following year.
By the end of 2021, Porsche had sold nearly 302,000 vehicles globally. It also managed to break its previous sales records in China and the United States. Considering that global production volumes have remained suppressed by supply chain problems, it was an impressive accomplishment. However, Detlev von Platen, Executive Board Member Sales & Marketing at Porsche AG, believes the automaker can still outdo itself in 2022.
Back in February, there was some buzz that Volkswagen Group was seriously considering spinning off the Porsche brand or at the very least listing it on the stock exchange. While the rumors technically go back further than that, it wasn’t until early 2021 that outlets started citing anonymous sources claiming VW felt it had become too bloated with brands and wanted to shake loose some money whilst streamlining the organization.
Not so, says Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess. It always seemed suspect that the manufacturer would offload what has consistently become one of its most profitable brands, though an IPO didn’t seem out of the question considering how ridiculously well it has worked for other entities underpinned by hype (valid or otherwise). Diess has indicated that neither scenario looks plausible anymore, stating that VW isn’t all that interested in surrendering any amount of control right now.
Electric cars are a polarizing matter among automotive enthusiasts. While a small group of ardent EV loyalists exist, a large portion of car people look at them with varying levels of contempt. However, let’s not kid ourselves, electrification is an inevitability. Even if EVs don’t proliferate like rabbits in springtime, standard powertrains will continue to evolve and electric automobiles will account for some of the most extreme performance models on the road.
We’ve already seen what Tesla can do if given enough money. The Model S P100D can already hit 60 mph in just over 2 seconds — putting extravagantly priced, flamboyant supercars to shame.
More vehicles are coming to fit this mold. Porsche has been working on a rival for Tesla’s sedan for a while now, and recently released the specs. While the Germans seem to have developed a strong performer, ready to feed plenty of internal combustion vehicles a crow supper, it doesn’t appear to be quite as fast as Tesla’s best. Either that, or Porsche is downplaying the Taycan’s (formerly the Mission E) technical specifications.
The investigative parade continues in Germany. Prosecutors investigating Volkswagen Group’s diesel-emissions scandal have now turned their attention to Porsche. Roughly 10 facilities owned by the automaker in Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg were searched by around 160 investigators.
Stuttgart-based prosecutors claimed to be interested in three specific individuals suspected of fraud and fraudulent advertising as it relates to the manipulated emissions-control systems of diesel passenger cars. The office clarified that Porsche CEO Oliver Blume was not among them, however.
Rumors of an electrified Porsche 911 have been circulating for months — and were eventually confirmed when CEO Oliver Blume claimed the forthcoming plug-in would be the “most powerful” version of the sports coupe the company has ever built. This, of course, stoked new rumors that automaker might decide to make the 911 a fully electric model.
Porsche wants to put those ideas down before they get out of hand. At the company’s annual results conference in Stuttgart, Blume clarified that the 911 would eventually yield a plug-in variant but would never be purely electric. While we advise all automakers to never say never, Porsche does seem to feel as if a battery only edition of the 911 is preposterous. The CEO even warned that the high-performance hybrid wouldn’t appear until some time after the 922 generation had already been in production. “We are waiting for the further evolution in battery technology so you should not expect a plug-in version in the coming years. It’s currently planned when the 992 is refreshed,” he said.
Last year, Porsche paraded out its 911 GT2 RS at the Electronic Entertainment Expo and dubbed it the most powerful 911 in history. However, its 640 horsepower will seem tepid when the next-generation 911 debuts. Referred to internally as the 922 series, the model will continue to host turbocharged flat-six engines in conjunction with rear- or all-wheel drive. But Porsche is also working on a plug-in hybrid variant of the car that’s scheduled for 2021.
While the 911 Turbo S is rumored to make around 630 horsepower, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume suggests the PHEV should be able to surpass it by a wide margin when it rolls off the assembly line a few years after the internal combustion cars. Assuming it’s using the same electrical system as the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, that could tack on another 136 bhp to whatever six the company chooses to install.
It’s kind of difficult to imagine if you aren’t old enough to remember, but there was a period in the 1980s when the Porsche 911 was almost removed from the automotive landscape. In 1979, Porsche had made plans to replace the 911 with the new 928. The working logic was that the 911 was too quirky, impractical, and a bit of a handful. Porsche executives figured it just made good sense to swap it with something that had a broader appeal, especially as the company’s finances weren’t looking particularly robust at the time.
However, in 1981, Porsche AG found itself with a new chief executive — a German-born American named Peter Schutz. And he was having absolutely none of that nonsense.
Porsche is apparently seeking 200 million euros — or $234 million — in damages from its Audi stablemate over the costs associated with using its emissions cheating diesel engines. According to reports, Porsche has already issued its claim to Audi and the wheels of justice have been set in motion.
With no verified sources or official word from either automaker, the news is more than just a little strange considering both manufacturers are part of Volkswagen Group. However, Audi did supply both Porsche and Volkswagen with defeat device-equipped 3.0-liter V6s for use in various models. One of those models was Porsche’s Cayenne, and sales of the TDI variant were shelved as the scandal raged.
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