Porsche has secured control of VW with a controlling stake of 35 per cent
17 September 2008

Porsche has finally secured control of Volkswagen by pushing its share ownership above 35 per cent. This buys sufficient votes on the board to dictate the major management decisions at the Skoda-to-Bugatti group.

"Today's step is a further milestone in our goal to increase our stake in Volkswagen to 50 per cent," says Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking.

But whether this step is sufficient to halt the infighting that has engulfed the two sides, still remains to be seen.

Porsche scion Ferdinand Piech (pictured) is said to be trying to oust Wiedeking over differences in future strategy, while Wolfgang Porsche is said to be doing the same to Piech.

The Volkswagen works council, a powerful body representing workers, is also resisting Porsche's takeover amid worries that heavy job cuts feature in Porsche's long-term vision for VW.

An interesting legal twist is that VW employees will now sit on Porsche's works council and supervisory board, which has a powerful veto on strategy. Further heated board meetings seem pretty much assured thanks to this development.

With all the internal strife raging, it's not surprising that Porsche's statement on its 35 per cent shareholding refers optimistically to "looking forward to continuing and intensifying our co-operation with the management board of VW".

Differences over future strategy have previously spilled out in public. Porsche, for example, believes there is too much product overlap in the Audi, Seat and VW ranges.

And there are concerns in the up-market echelons of the VW Group of Audi, Bentley and Bugatti that Porsche wants to eradicate competition to its models and force technical solutions from its R&D labs.

Julian Rendell

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4

17 September 2008

Porsche and VW have a shared history over many years- both have been dominated by two families and it looks like they are now in disagreement about the way forward. Not a good position to be in considering the present climate.

Porsche do not want direct competition from within the VW group. The big concern will be around the VW upmarket brands- in particular Lamborghini and to a lesser extent Bentley. I think the ones likely to suffer most are Audi.

Lamborghini will be pushed further upmarket ( the updated gallardo has already done this), to stay clear of 911 Turbo, GT3 territory.

Bentley won't be allowed to expand thier range to include a 4x4 ( not a bad thing) nor a sub 100k car.

Porsche can't be happy that Audi built the R8 nor will they be pleased about models like the RS5 or TTRS. On the flip side Audi will see this as a hinderence as they are trying to compete with Mercedes and BMW.

All this is going to lead to friction between both sides but if Porsche do manage to secure a 50% shareholding it will make is easier for them but ultimately with a shared history and culture I would expect both sides reaching an acceptable middle ground. They do however need to resolve this issue of essentially producing products competing with each other in the marketplace.

17 September 2008

I agree with you on finding some kind of middle ground. But I think the world is big enough for cars like the R8 and 911. A bit of internal competition is good, it will keep standards high and will ultimately benefit customers. And if Porsche wants to avoid competition maybe it should rethink its next car the Panamera? Or at least the price of it.

However I am beginning to wonder what benefit to the VAG-Porsche Group SEAT has.

18 September 2008

The R8 is the ideal way of making a faster Boxster without it competing within the Porsche range, as long as people are buying a VAG/Porsche product and the brands aren't suffering. I think the competition will only advance things in technology and will leave them at the very top of the market.

28bhp never felt so fast

 

18 September 2008

This is beginning to be a re-run of the "Rover" story; takes you back to the Jaguar v. Triumph v. Rover days. Hopefully the outcome will be different, but what are the chances of the Chinese picking over the bones in 10 years time?

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