The Porsche 924, for historians of the cause, was a joint venture between Volkswagen-Audi and Porsche, badged as such, and designed by Porsche to be a flagship sports car for Volkswagen. VW had that sort of power back then, to get Porsche to do all the research and development with the money gained from selling Rabbits. We imagine Porsche engineers will be sticking to this deal for even more years to come, now that Volkswagen has bought the rest of its 50-percent stake in Porsche.
Now, importantly for purposes of pride, Volkswagen can fold the legendary sports car company into its portfolio of other legendary brands, including Lamborghini, Bugatti, Bentley and Ducati. Volkswagen’s move ends a seven-year tale of each company trying to take the other over: Porsche tried to buy Volkswagen outright in 2009, but ended up racking a 10-billion-euro tab in the process. This time, the deal cost Volkswagen 4.46 billion euros, or $5.6 billion.
“We can now cooperate even more closely and jointly leverage new growth opportunities in the high-margin premium segment,” said Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen’s CEO. “Combining their operating business will make Volkswagen and Porsche even stronger—both financially and strategically—going forward.”
During the seven-year takeover, Germany’s most powerful families settled into a feud. Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech double-crossed his cousin Wolfgang Porsche to prevent Porsche taking over the larger company. Wolfgang accused Piech of turning Porsche into just another brand—as if the Cayenne didn’t share a platform with Volkswagen and Audi SUVs, how would Porsche fit?
There will be little doubt that when the dust has fallen, some enterprising reporter will pen a thrilling exposé on the entire sordid tale. But what does this mean for consumers?
Could there be a Volkswagen sports car, developed by Porsche? No doubt that Porsche itself has shelved its plans for a baby sports car, because a sports car would dilute Porsche’s traditional truck-and-sedan lineup. But since we don’t get the Scirocco in America, and the GTI isn’t exactly a sporting vessel for the initiated, it’s hopefully something enthusiasts can dream about. But for the newlywed couple, a sage reminder from history: the 924 may be fit for Lemons duty today, but at the time it saved Porsche from bankruptcy—and was the highest-selling Porsche at the time.
Source: Automotive News