VW take over Porsche! For the love of…

Takeovers in the auto industry are nothing new. Automakers want more money and they achieve this by increasing their portfolios, starting sub-brands, sharing parts, squeezing their suppliers and applying other tactical ploys to shave costs. Another trick, one which carmakers have been quite keen on these days, is to add more segments to their lineups: 2-door coupes, 4-door coupes, 4-door coupe convertibles, 2-door SUV convertibles, and the list goes on and on. Or they could simply purchase another existing brand.

And that’s what has happened here. It is important to note that VW’s takeover hasn’t come short of drama. Porsche actually tried to buy VW in 2009, but failed in acquiring a required stake of 75%. During this time, the Stuttgart brand also managed to dig a hole for itself, accumulating massive debts of over 10 billion euros. The Porsche brand image also took a hit, when due to the failed attempt, investors sued the company accusing Porsche of misleading them in the process.

Fast forward to 2012 and it’s a very different story. The buyer has now been bought out. According to VW, “the deal is likely to reduce costs and boost VW’s earnings as it seeks to become the world’s biggest carmaker.” I can’t tell you how that statement irks me. Will VW’s purchase ruin the Porsche brand?

Porsche fans from all over the world have been somewhat split on this deal. Some feel it won’t affect the company, nor its lineup. Others think that it’s only a matter of time before VW begins meddling in Porsche’s business. Me personally, I’m with the latter group. There will be a point where VW will influence decisions coming out of Stuttgart.

On a forum, which I am a member of, I wrote the following:

The reality is that it’s all about money at the end of the day. The purity and passion of a brand usually dies with its founders. Porsche is a business. VW is a business. Lotus tried to become a business (let’s see where that goes). As businesses, they will pursue any opportunity that inovlves making more money for themselves and their respective shareholders. And with products such as the Cayenne and Panamera raking in the big bucks, why would they stop expanding their portfolio? Unfortunately, the auto industry doesn’t build cars for purists anymore. Sure, you have your little mom-and-pop operations but how far can they really go? For purists, they reserve their most expensive products: the GT3RS 4.0, the Carrera GT, etc. What they’re basically saying is: You want purity? You want passion? Pay an arm and a leg for it! It’s the sad truth, but at least, it’s the truth.

As always, your input is appreciated. Will or won’t this deal hurt Porsche?

[Source: BloombergBBC]

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Automotive, Rants

Tags: , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

4 Comments on “VW take over Porsche! For the love of…”

  1. Sparkous Says:

    The car industry has been turbulent in exchanging hands, for as long as i can remember. First one that comes to my mind Diamler Chrysler, that merger lasted nearly 10 years or so. They tried to share the parts bin but that didnt last. I lost track of Range Rover owners, but they share / shared many parts with BMW, and now if im not mistaken engines derived from Ford. A good thing in my opinion, Land Rover aluminum engine blocks were bullet proof but lacked on performance, and their electronis were a mess ! Speaking of electronics I recognized some on the Aventadore from Audi. The list goes on, its not necessarily a good thing nor is it as terrible as it sounds. Yes, as a Porsche fan I’m possitive that the heritage and pedigree are gonna be out the window but I’m just banking on things turning around for 911 next generation ( wishfull thinking ) to me the new 911 (991) already headed to a weird design by sharing the interior layout with its siblings.

    • el wehbi Says:

      Many excellent points made there! As far as the 991 goes, I personally have a love-it-hate-it relationship with the car. The usual evolution from each 911 model to another normally sits with me pretty well; however, the massive changes from the 997 to the 991 bodystyle really threw me off! I could have seen this new bodystyle coming in to play later in the future… like if they decided to create a 992 bodystyle. The transition was a bit too radical. But then again, I have no doubts this car is going to sell like crazy.

      Question is, how do the rest of the purists feel?

  2. khabah Says:

    I’ll preface this comment with the fact that I’m a very passionate Porsche diehard.

    I was skeptical when the Cayenne first came to the market, but over time I’ve grown very fond of it and have an unspeakable love for the Panamera. It is known that the Cayenne [and later, the Panamera] was conceived as a cash cow to help Porsche keep afloat and maintain its independence in a manner not unlike how the Boxster saved the brand in the early 90s. Although a Boxster and a sports car, purists everywhere where crying bloody murder because it opened up the Porsche brand to a new, cheaper demographic, but over time came to realize the true superiority of the Boxster chassis and drive and now go far enough to say that it’s dynamically superior to the 911. Look at the Cayenne: an SUV, but it still embodies Porsche’s sporting brand values and offers a dynamism in the segment that other automakers can’t replicate.

    From a personal/emotional aspect, I think the Cayenne and Panamera are extremely valuable vehicles and, dare I say it, true Porsches. Yes, they fulfill different purposes than the 911 and Boxster/Cayman and have taken the brand into entirely new territories, but I find that they still represent the spirit of Porsche: sport dynamics par excellence no matter what body it has been placed in. The Cayenne handles better than some sports cars I’ve driven, and the Panamera – even the detractors have walked away in confused silence at how something this large handles the way it does.

    Let’s not forget this simple rule: evolve or die. These cars are natural extensions of the brand and will bring in new customers; imagine selling nothing but 911s. The exclusivity will definitely be there, but does that keep an automotive marque alive?

    Now that it’s falling under the VW umbrella, the new ownership wants to push Porsche’s annual sales from over 110000 last year to more than 200000 by 2018, starting first with the Macan compact SUV late next year. I find it’s a shame that Volkswagen wants to milk the Porsche name by doubling their annual sales, but seeing how Porsche managed to maintain its vaunted exclusivity and respect with the Cayenne/Panamera in the face of all the purists and uproar, perhaps they’ll still keep their image with new models. For one, I’m looking very forward to the Macan despite its Audi parentage and hope that we see performance models like a Ferrari 458 fighter. I just hope that, in time, profits and margins don’t play as massive a role as they are emphasized to and Porsche honors its heritage and maintains its true identity rather than becoming the sporty arm of the VW group. Porsche imbues an emotional magic that plays one’s heartstrings like a guitar. I fail to think of any other brand that has captured the hearts and minds, emotions and logic of people the way Porsche has over the generations, and that’s what keeps people like you and I coming back again and again.

    khabah

    • el wehbi Says:

      So true: “evolve or die”. Unfortunately, that evolution comes at a hefty price paid by purists (that’s a lot of p’s)… or should I say 911 purists?

      There is no doubting what the Panamera and Cayenne models have achieved for the Porsche brand. They have carried the brand into new markets and added a whole new customer base for the marque. These customers could very well come back one day and purchase another Porsche, like a 911 or a Boxster, eventually creating new brand loyalists.

      Brands under the umbrella – such as Seat, Skoda and Audi – have all benefited from the acquisitions. Lamborghini has benefitted as well, but I still manage to get annoyed with the extensive use of Audi products throughout Lambo cars. Porsche will no doubt benefit as well, but will the sharing of parts and materials destroy the unique attributes we’ve grown to love and expect from the company?

      My major concern is when will it be enough? Could a behemoth like VW ever be satisfied?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: