The story of VW and Porsche buying one another looks as if it is finally going to come to a conclusion – with VW taking over Porsche.
This has been rumbling on and off for some time, but it was all too complicated and political to try and write about. There were tales of a fued between the families behind the two companies, and there was the political side of things, with the presence of laws regarding ownership. While I might have been interested, digging into that sort of stuff and getting it right it too much like work, and not fun. Better to leave it to the journalists and professional writers who have access to better sources of info than the likes of me – and have to get it right, or be fired.
The most interesting aspect seems to have been the effect of the recession on the Porsche campaign to take over VW, and it seems to have rendered moot the legal aspect of ownership which may have influenced, or even negated Porsche’s efforts. Even though Porsche built up a 51% holding in the company, it’s efforts to build that up to a 75% stake were trashed by the financial crisis and the slump in the global automotive sector, which eventually gave the the sports car maker huge debts instead of a large stake in VW
The aim now seems to be to end the deal with VW owning Porsche, but leaving the company with its independence, a process which will achieved in gradual steps, and see completion before the fourth quarter of 2011. This would see Porsche effectively becoming the 10th brand under the VW umbrella. Porsche said it would increase its capital by at least 5 billion euros (£4.3 billion; $7.10 billion).
While this might have been a reason for dismay a few years ago, it’s probably not the tale of woe that purists might have (and maybe still will) portray it as. VW has marques such as Bugati, Lamborghini, and Audi (which it has done wonderful things with eg R8 and R10, and the recent TTRS). Those three marques have survived, and have models that are head and shoulders above their predecessors. Again, some purists just carp about the use of the odd switch from the parts bin, but in the real world, using those parts probably saved the cars concerned, and avoided some delay while a bespoke part was designed and tooled for.
Provided they do as per their publicity, and Porsche is allowed to retain its independence, but is able to draw on VW’s resources, things should be better in the future, and we get Porsche’s that are not only good at being road and track cars, but see the motoring journalists’ jibes regarding trim and suchlike come to a silent end.