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    The Value and Cost of Porsche's Independence

    Want to hear what everyone thinks about how important that Porsche remains independent? There have been numerous posts, some quite heartfelt on the 997 Board, about what Porsche should do with its products and marketing strategy, and how it compares against models from manufacturers that are part of larger entities (Ferrari with Fiat, Lambo with VW, etc.). There is also the fact that Porsche has taken a 20% ("controlling"?) stake in VW to ensure its independence. Would you expect Porsche cars to be much different and in what ways, if Porsche were to pursue its current strategy of remaining independent vs becoming part of a larger entity?

    My perspective is that for Porsche to remain independent, it becomes less of a niche producer and by definition its products become less appealing to the "hardcore" in search of the highest power/weight and optimal handling sports car. The benefit is that its more compromised offerings are more affordable than otherwise. I would also note that Ferrari continues to receive accolades, and the turnaround of Lambo vehicles as part of Audi/VW has been dramatic, and arguably not possible as an independent entity. I'm not advocating any particular point of view, as the Porsche/Piech family are the ones who will ultimately decide on Porsche's independence, and they have clearly voted in favor. Just curious as to what you think this means for Porsche cars in the future.

    Re: The Value and Cost of Porsche's Independence

    1) Porsche's association with and share of VW will possibly mean lower production costs for Porsche - but not lower prices for the buyer.
    We will probably see technically better and more durable cars due to this collabaration since a possible VW/Porsche production collaboration will cut the basic costs for Porsche and hence free up manpower to developing innovative technical solutions and better handling cars.

    2) Lowering the price on Porsches will deacrease the perceived value of the brand. That wont happen. So only Porsche will benefit finacially from the VW collaboration. The consumer wont see any change on the pricetag.

    3) Remaining independant may be paramount for a brand/manufacturer to be perceived as "exotic". However, remaining independant is possibly a bad idea in the long run if you want to produce hi-performance cars to a demanding audience. The Bugatti Veyron would probably have been impossible to produce for an independant manufacturer. The development cost alone would kill most small factories. In all fairness, the Veyron may not prove to be a sales success - but it does push the envelope performancewise.

    Re: The Value and Cost of Porsche's Independence

    It seems to me that Porsche is not at all at risk of losing its independence because they are such a wealthy company. Also, they have strong family involvement that likely would never sell the company.

     
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