Porsche celebrates its anniversary. Exactly 60 years ago the
cornerstone was laid for the family-operated industrial company, whose
rise from modest beginnings to become one of the most important sports
car manufacturers in the world no one back then would have ever
On June 8, 1948 a new chapter in automobile history began.For on
this day, the first Porsche prototype with the vehicle identification
number 356-001 received its official approval and homologation for road
service. “It all started when I began looking around and just could not
find my dream car. So I decided to build it myself”, said Ferry Porsche
– and to this day, this genius and pioneering spirit has shaped the
philosophy of the company.
However, in the past six decades, Porsche has not only experienced
peaks, but also troughs. Yet thanks to efficient production methods,
clear branding and innovative models, such as the 356 and the 911,
Boxster and the Cayenne, the once small sports car specialist quickly
transformed into one of the most successful and profitable automobile
manufacturers in the world.
When Wiedeking took over management in 1992, Porsche had reached the
peak of its most serious economic crisis ever. The company was in
danger of losing its most valuable asset - its independence. Porsche
was suddenly ripe for takeover. The situation had to be handled
immediately. And the shareholder families Porsche and Piëch told the
Board that they would lend their support.
Wiedeking and his Board colleagues not only had the Boxster
produced, but also brought about the company's turn-around through
other economic measures. Under the generic terms “lean management” and
“lean production”, new organizational and production workflows were
introduced and the company's hierarchy and process structures were
reorganized from top to bottom. It did not take long for the internal
efforts to improve productivity and the newly developed model line to
have a positive impact. As early as 1995, Porsche was back in the black
and began to assume a leading position by breaking new revenue, sales
and earnings records annually.
Not only the balance sheet, but also the reputation of the Porsche
brand reflects the company's exceptional position. For the fifth time
in a row, top German managers from all industries selected Porsche AG
as the company with the best image in a survey from “manager magazin”.
The prestigious quality study “Initial Quality Study” of the American
research institute J.D. Power ranked Porsche in first place for the
second time. And the J.D. Power “Appeal” Study confirmed that the
Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer had, for the third time in a
row, been ranked by American customers as the most appealing brand.
Over these 60 years, Porsche has worked very hard to achieve this
special image, mainly through its most varied innovations and also, in
particular, in the area of environmental protection. Porsche engineers
are never satisfied with only meeting current environmental regulations
passed by lawmakers. It has always been their goal to exceed them.
Porsche vehicles should also set an example when it comes to
environmental protection. So, as early as 1966, the first authorized
emissions test in Europe was performed using a 911. Not long after, a
separate department was established that also tested the emission
values from vehicles produced by other manufacturers.
Porsche develops new technologies not just to improve driving
features, but also to continuously optimize the cars for environmental
sustainability. In the last 15 years, Porsche has succeeded in reducing
the fuel consumption in its new cars, and thereby also CO2 emissions,
by an average of 1.7 percent annually. With regard to engine
performance, Porsche currently already ranks among manufacturers with
the lowest CO2 emissions. And by 2012, the fuel consumption in Porsche
vehicles is going to be reduced by a further 20 percent - new
innovative engine technologies and the hybrid drive for the Cayenne and
Panamera will make this possible.
Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder once said: “Porsche is a model
for Germany.” By this, he was not only referring the company's
engineering ingenuity which the company stands for, hhe also meant the
David principle with which Porsche, as a small automobile manufacturer,
has been able to keep up with the Goliaths of its industry over the
last 60 years. With the quality seal “Made in Germany”, its rejection
of subsidies as well as its sense of social responsibility toward its
employees and society, Porsche has unflinchingly pursued its own path.
This includes Porsche's step toward a new future in September 2005:
its majority holding in Volkswagen AG. With almost 31 percent of the
voting share capital, Porsche is now the largest shareholder in VW.
During the course of this year, its share will be increased to over 50
The goal of this path is clear: Under the umbrella of Porsche
Automobil Holding SE, not only will growth for Porsche and Volkswagen
be ensured thanks to their proven development and production
partnership over the decades, but also the independence of both
companies. And the Chairman of the Board, Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking
promises that in the anniversary year of the Porsche sports car:
“Porsche will remain Porsche in the future. Just as Volkswagen will
remain Volkswagen. That is the recipe for success.”