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Porsche’s Fall From Grace

Dr. Ferdinand Porsche created the Volkswagen (People’s Car) for Hitler in the 1930’s.

After the war and after his incarceration he helped his son, Ferry, produce the first Porsche sports car, the 356, mainly from Volkswagen components.

As time went on Porsche sourced less from VW to develop their own unique brand of high powered sports cars, though they still kept a close liaison with VW.
Of course the Porsche brand went on to become one of the World’s greatest icons in Sports Car motoring.
It also became the most profitable, not just in the sports car segment, but in outright performance on a per capita basis.
It was, indeed, THE most profitable car produced.

Then they embarked on an ambitious and controversial expansion plan into 4WD territory, but with success, as the Cayenne became their biggest seller and they were still making big profits.

Then their ambitions soared to a takeover target – Volkswagen itself!

They started buying shares in 2005 and, under German law had to acquire a controlling stake in 2008, to eventually secure a 51 percent stake in the company.

Now crippled with debt, and suffering further under the World financial downturn, Porsche had huge problems and were unable to satisfy their aspirations for complete control of the Volkswagen group.

Then came the first twist.

Earlier this month Volkswagen made a bid to buy Porsche!

Then the second twist was announced just last week, the resignation of the CEO Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, effective immediately!

It was Dr. Wiedeking who thought up the plan for Porsche to launch the VW takeover, which resulted in Porsche sinking under a debt cloud of an estimated $17bn.

The Porsche board is hoping that the Gulf State of Qatar will help bale them out of VW clutches, so that they don’t end up as just one of the 10 brands under the VW banner, but that looks like a vain hope at the moment.

Oh, and now to the final bizarre twist in this sad and sorry tale.

In a personal statement to the press, the outgoing CEO Wiedeking said that $2m of his generous payout was to go in to a foundation to help journalists in need!

To buy a few Cayennes and 911’s for them perhaps?

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