Porsche currently holds a 31% stake in VW and at last month’s Frankfurt Motor Show its CEO Wendeling Wiedeking revealed to Automotive News his future plans for both companies. According to Wiedeking, the biggest payoff from the acquisition of VW would be the opportunity for more joint-products. “We want technology and shared investment in new technologies” he explained, “if we can find common components and systems that can be used in Porsche as well as Audis and Bentleys, it would allow all of us to reduce our price position.”
When questioned about what would happen if Porsche was to become a 51% shareholder in VW, Wiedeking explained that it hasn’t been decided and that he already has significant influence in the company because of his position as a supervisory board member. One thing he hopes to see change before any takeover is VW’s fortunes in the U.S., which is exactly what’s happening. VW is undergoing a restructuring plan, which could see it increase output from its Mexico plant as well as the possibility of U.S. production kicking off. The major problem is overcoming the issue of the weak U.S. dollar and local production is the best solution at the moment.
Wiedeking focus instead lies on launching the new Panamera in 2009, which he recently test-drove earlier this year. Apart from boasting that the four-door Porsche was excellent, the only solid info he gave away was that it would be on the market by 2009. Then there’s Porsche’s hybrid technology, which Wiedeking says is not yet ready because a lack of suitable battery technology. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a diesel version either because Porsche has no plans to launch a diesel power model anytime soon.
As for the fate of some of VW Group’s low income earners, – read Bugatti - Wiedeking hinted that there is no room for “hobbies” and that “every brand and every car has to make money.” He concluded the interview by commenting “the name of the game is not to build cars but to make money” and that he’d rather invest in buying up more shares than releasing new products.