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Dec 11 2009

VW begins to map the future for the house of Porsche

Posted by volkszone

Until he was beheaded (figuratively) in a recent battle with über-VW-mogul Ferdinand Piëch, Porsche chairman Wende­lin Wiedeking was close to occupying the big chairs at both Porsche and Volkswagen, where one of his first goals was to make VW take a considerable amount of cost out of its future product – writes www.caranddriver.com.

But in the power struggle that ensued, it was Volkswagen that ended up owning Porsche, instead of vice versa, and Wiedeking was sent packing (with a colossal severance payoff). Now Piëch, the chairman of Volkswagen AG’s supervisory board, and VW chief executive officer Martin Winterkorn are calling the shots at Volkswagen and nine other brands under the VW umbrella, including Porsche. And what both leaders are looking for regarding Porsche’s future seems to be clear: Porsche has to sell more cars. A lot more cars.

Currently, Porsche is selling about 75,000 units per annum. Instead of the incremental addition of model variants as in previous years, the new VW bosses are demanding that several new Porsche models enter production in a short three-year span. Eventually, the new bosses are pushing for Porsche to sell 150,000 vehicles annually.

Here is Winterkorn’s take on Porsche’s product line: The slow, evolutionary steps of the 911 have been too small. The Cayenne, even in its second generation (due later this year), is still too heavy, thirsty, and not innovative enough. The Boxster and the Cayman don’t sell in great enough numbers, and the new Panamera is too big and heavy. Above all, the Panamera’s chassis is used only for a single model today, which is not as profitable as it could be.

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