Porsche and Volkswagen unite.
The Porsche/Volkswagen relationship has always been an interesting one. Both companies were founded by the same man, Ferdinand Porsche, in the 1930’s. While Porsche was a sports car maker, many of their early models like the Type 64 and 356 were made with parts from the venerable VW Beetle. In the early 1970’s the duo teamed up again to bring an affordable mid engine sports car to the masses, the 914, with the base model using a VW sourced 4 cylinder and the high-performance 914-6 getting a Porsche built flat six. Most recently when the sportscar builder from Stuttgart decided to get into the SUV game with the Cayenne, they shared development and construction costs with the guys over in Wolfsburg allowing the VW Touareg and Audi Q7 to come to market. The two companies have a tradition of working together, well after today the tradition becomes official.
Continued after the jump.
Porsche has always had in interest in the German automotive conglomerate, but with no intentions to one day run VW. Back in September of 2005 Porsche owned about 5% of Volkswagen and decided to invest €3 Billion in order to up their interest to 20%. Just ten months later in July of 2006 Porsche was up to 25%. On March 26, 2007, in a further attempt to preserve the German automaker and prevent a hostile takeover from a foreign corporation Porsche increased their ownership to 31% and by October of 2008 were up to 42%. At this point the two automotive giants were working together, sharing technology, but still operated 100% independently of one another. It was as if Porsche would check in from time to time and make sure everything was going o.k. and see what they could get from the relationship, but didn’t impose on the corporate structure of the VW Group. That was until May 6th, when the two companies officially joined forces uniting the 9 existing brands managed by VW and Porsche under a single operation.
The VW Group operates Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, SEAT, Scania, Skoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles; which will now be combined with Porsche thanks to Porsche Automobil Holding SE, a separate company owned by members of the Porsche and Piech families. This is just another step in the German sports car maker’s journey to take a controlling interest in Volkswagen. The sports car maker from Stuttgart has already amassed a 51% stake in Volkswagen, but that is still not enough of a majority in Germany to sit at the head of the table. Porsche still intends to raise its stake to 75% when economic conditions allow.
This means that the VW Bluemotion/Porsche New 914 could be happening sooner than you think.