Europe’s largest carmaker wants to be the biggest in the world and after nearly a year of tussling they’re now one step closer. On August 13, Volkswagen AG agreed to purchase a 42 percent stake in Porsche for up to 3.3 billion euros ($4.7 billion). A full merger is expected to follow with VW CEO Martin Winterkorn running both companies.
Porsche will be joining a mega-conglomerate that already features such luxury and performance brands as Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Skoda, Seat and Lamborghini. But the buck doesn’t stop there - From Volkswagen’s annual report:
“Our goals are unchanged,” he (Winterkorn) says – which means they remain ambitious: by 2018, the Group aims to be the number one worldwide in terms of unit sales, profit, quality and employer image. (1)
“Porsche is a real enrichment for our company's portfolio,” Winkterkorn said. (2)
Those words take on more weight when you stop to read the roller coaster history behind the current deal as described by Automotive News:
“Porsche's surrender comes at the end of a months-long power struggle that eventually led to the departure of Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking. It marks a triumph for Volkswagen CEO Winterkorn and VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech.”
Dizzying highs! Crushing lows!
“Porsche had sought to seize control over Volkswagen — already Europe's biggest carmaker — as a way to gain access to key components and technologies it needs to meet stringent new pollution rules.”
“But Porsche's takeover attempt backfired after it took on more than 10 billion euros in debt, forcing it to seek help from Volkswagen.” (1)
The bitter sting of humility!
What sorts of vehicles will emerge from the Volkswagen-Porsche fusion? Only time will tell, but the VW gene pool is definitely looking formidable and primed for expansion.