Porsche and VW: Together At Last

By | June 3, 2014

July 5, 2012 at 3:00pm by Jens Meiners

Volkswagen is buying the remaining 50.1 percent of Porsche from Porsche Automobil Holding SE for €4.46 billion (roughly $5.5 billion). Technically, it’s a merger as VW is transferring one share to Porsche. This way, VW avoids more than €1.5 billion in taxes. The recently discovered and government-approved loophole serves to shorten any delay in the takeover that would hamper the integration of both brands.

Porsche now will be fully integrated into the Volkswagen Group. This process was already underway: Porsche’s senior management comes from VW and Audi, and the two companies have long worked together on joint projects. But full synergies could not be realized as VW and Porsche were still forced to treat each other as separate companies. This has made work on future products such as the Audi Q5-based Porsche Macan more costly than it should have been.

2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet

Despite the separation, the VW Group brands and Porsche have worked very closely on joint products and technologies. The rear-wheel-drive MSB architecture, for example, is developed by Porsche for a number of Group models beyond its own brand.

This joint work will be intensified. Porsche’s engineering and quality standards will now fully conform to VW’s; the likelihood for shared technology is greater as the cost barriers have been lowered. For now, it seems that Porsche will keep a unique position as an engineering house for other, non-VW carmakers. Porsche Engineering in Weissach near Stuttgart, a veritable profit center, has long executed styling and engineering work for carmakers across the globe, and it likely will remain this way.

The takeover of shares marks the end of a sometimes-bitter and always-entertaining feud between Porsche and VW brass. Under Wiedeking, the sports car maker was on the verge of swallowing up Volkswagen. But the elaborate deal failed in the stock market crisis, and Porsche turned into the candidate to be taken over.

We look forward to a new generation of sports cars, sedans, and SUVs to come out of Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. Hopefully, the sub-Boxster roadster that was supposed to be co-developed with VW and Audi will still be among them.

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