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Another Shake-up at Porsche; Macht Out as CEO

VW cements its control.

by on Jul.06, 2010

New Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller.

Further cementing its hold on the long independent Porsche AG, German rival Volkswagen has appointed its top car-model strategist to run the sports car company.

Matthias Mueller, 57, is the new chairman of the board of  Porsche management, moving from Volkswagen AG where he was in charge of product Planning and product management and model series for the VW Group and the Volkswagen Brand.

Effective October 1, Mueller will replace Michael Macht, 49, who was appointed a member of the board of management of Volkswagen AG. In the future Macht will be responsible for the Production Division and, as a result, the control and coordination of all plants within the Volkswagen Group.

“Contributing (his) knowledge, he guarantees that Porsche, as a world brand, will not only maintain, but further expand its top position,” Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG, said of the new sports car maker’s CEO.

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Mueller’s appointment was viewed as an indicator Porsche would work more closely with VW as it developed new products in the future.

“Matthias Mueller gives us the exceptional competence of an outstanding product expert benefiting the interaction of independent brands within an Integrated Automotive Group leading the market worldwide,” added Chairman Porsche.

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Volkswagen Buying Porsche; Qatari Investors Could Be Big Winners

This time, Goliath won, as reckless borrowing comes due.

by on Jul.23, 2009

Its bid to acquire the bigger Volkswagen now in tatters, the debt-ridden sports car maker Porsche - which recently launched the Panamera, shown here - has agreed to be acquired by its larger rival.

Its bid to acquire the bigger Volkswagen now in tatters, the debt-ridden sports car maker Porsche - which recently launched the Panamera, shown here - has agreed to be acquired by its larger rival.

It certainly had all the drama of a biblical battle, with family members pitted against one another, but in this case, David was the one that picked the fight. And Goliath won.

Months after the sports car manufacturer, Porsche, launched a costly campaign to gain control of its German rival, Volkswagen, the tables have turned. VW will now take over the smaller carmaker, reportedly for a price of $11.3 billion. Porsche will join a long list of prestige marques VW has acquired in recent years, including Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini, as well as the more mainstream luxury brand Audi.

Wendelin Wiedeking, the hard-charging manager who transformed Porsche into one of the world’s most profitable auto companies, will bail out as its CEO, but he’ll be covered by a golden parachute estimated to be worth $70 million.

Under Wiedeking, Porsche attempted to mount what has been described as one of the most audacious takeover attempts in automotive history, running up debt of almost $20 billion by some accounts in the process.  During the last several years, it built up a 51% stake in Volkswagen, and more recently made it clear it wanted to take over the larger maker.  And under more normal circumstances, that would have given it control of the bigger company.  But when it comes to VW, one of Germany’s largest employers, things aren’t always done by the normal rules.

A special law was put in place to protect VW from unwarranted advances and to protect the state of Lower Saxony, where the carmaker is based, and which holds a so-called golden share in Volkswagen.  That effectively blocked a takeover if VW refused to acquiesce.

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Volkswagen Now Likely to Swallow Porsche

Porsche's Wiedeking may fall over failed bid to buy bigger VW.

by on Jul.20, 2009

Wendelin Wiedeking has helped turn Porsche into one of the world's most profitable automakers. But he could take the fall for an abortive bid for VW.

Wendelin Wiedeking has helped turn Porsche into one of the world's most profitable automakers. But he could take the fall for an abortive bid for VW.

Is the man responsible for Porsche’s dramatic success, over the last decade, about to take the fall for the German maker’s bold but seemingly futile David-v-Goliath bid to acquire rival Volkswagen?

But from a financial standpoint, at least, Wendelin Wiedeking could make out well should he be forced out as Porsche’s chief executive officer, according to industry sources, who say the hard-driving German manager could claim millions for, among other things, the profit sharing bonuses he’d have stood to collect had he completed a contract now set to expire in 2012.

Must-know news!

Must-know news!

For months, VW and Porsche have been locked in a bitter battle for control that is, in many respects, a familial melee, the latest in a long-running dispute between the two wings of the Porsche fortune.  Ferdinand Porsche helped create both VW – where heir Ferdinand Piech reigns supreme – and Porsche – where Wolfgang Porsche serves as chairman.

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