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    Stuttgart/Geneva Show Impressions(long)

    Just returned from visits to Stuttgart and Geneva Show--here are some impressions:

    The factory in Zuffenhausen was--on the day I took the tour--operating at it usual pace.  No visible signs of a slowdown.  The new engine room--which will produce all model engines--is enormously impressive, and to me shows the real value of Porsche's financial success. Our young guide was well informed, enthusiastic and set on becoming an engineer at Weissach--another good sign of Porsche's appeal as a company.  There was a FL prototype (probably TT) circulating at the factory, but we did not see it.

    The museum is visually striking, maybe too much so for my taste.  While it is certainly a clean and stunning design, I had the impression that function was following design (to reverse the old Porsche axiom).  The cars are arranged on pure white floors, and seem a bit like models in a display case.  Having said all of this, I think I should have strolled and dreamed a bit more, and should have checked out the audio head set offered at the entrance.  I did like the idea of a working museum (there is a large window into the workshop where cars are being prepared and serviced), and the fact that many of the cars on the display floors are moved in and out for road and track use.  If you go, plan for at least a two hour stay, and get the head set (or read more about the museum's purpose and history) to get a more in depth feel for the spirit and history of Porsche.

    The Geneva show was more exciting than I feared.  I was there for both press days, and the floor was filled with journalists and press conferences.  Were it not for "green" cars everywhere, it could have been any of the past years' shows.  My favorite cars, in no particular order:  the new Mercedes E coupe; a stunning white Veyron GT; the Bentley GT; the new Rolls concept car; the Brabus Smart.  I certainly cannot afford some of these super high end cars, but the secret of life is to admire without desiring.

    The Porsche stand--even with its new red GT3, seemed a bit uninspired.  It could be that Geneva is no longer a real showground for Porsche, or it could just be that Porsche is more about engineering than new concept cars and thrilling changes, but one feels a bit let down especially after seeing other exciting displays around the exhibition halls.

    One thing that is striking, however, is the financial success--or at least apparent power--of Porsche under Weidiking.  While the Porsche stand may have been understated or lacking in excitement, one cannot not help to notice the breadth of Porsche's reach.  As I walked along one entire side of the large upstairs hall, there was VW, Audi, Bentley?, Lamborghini--all somehow now under Porsche's control or influence. What this means for Porsche as a niche sports car company can be debated exhaustively, but one is certainly impressed.

    A few parting notes.  I found myself next to Weidiking for a considerable length of time in the Porsche press lounge.  I was impressed by the fact that he moved around easily and spoke cordially to everyone there, and spent at least 15 minutes talking with the catering staff personnel.  I got a nice impression of him--I was happily surprised.

    Finally, I saw a Cayenne Turbo S, in almost the exact configuration I have ordered for Leipzig pick up in April, and I am more than out of my mind with excitement!

    Re: Stuttgart/Geneva Show Impressions(long)

    Thanks for your write up.

    I've been to the museum two weeks ago. I enjoyed it very much although the old tiny hall that was the old museum was more an enthusiast's heaven and had a kind of warmth that is of course missing now. However, in the new museum I've seen many types of people from many parts of the world and of various ages and styles that I've never seen in the old museum. This is positive because it opens up the company to many more appreciators and many more potential customers.

    Personally, I liked the pure white theme because in this way the cars stand out without anything to distract you. I also liked the fact that from most points all the levels of the building are in your line of vision so you don't get the impression of separate enclosed exhibition compartments. This gives a large horizon and an opportunity to view and appreciate cars from a distance that would otherwise only be possible outdoors.

    It's not where you're going, it's how you get there that counts

    Re: Stuttgart/Geneva Show Impressions(long)

    Thanks Reginos, for your impressions.  They help me broaden my viewpoints.

    I should also have noted that there were many families there, something you would not have seen at the old museum.  At the very least, Porsche has made a public, international statement about its cars and its company.  And it is a young company, with comparatively new designs--no turn of the century buggies with brass headlamps.  It is also easy to trace the iconic rear engine design from the VW to the 997.  One gets the impression of a modern and successful company that has clearly and faithfully evolved from its origins.

    I do think that the museum exemplifies one of Porsches great challenges, however, and that is how to keep true not only to its new designs (museum architecture, dealership design, slick pens, watches, clothes) but to its racing, engineering and David vs. Goliath history.  Winning races is--bottom line--the best balancer to all the new designs.  I think the folks at Porsche realize this, with the most extensive racing support program of any manufacturer, but it's important to keep front and center.  So voila, let's see a factory supported Panamera effort!

    Re: Stuttgart/Geneva Show Impressions(long)

    Great writeup, thanks Smiley

    Re: Stuttgart/Geneva Show Impressions(long)

    BTW the workshop will open soon to the public, that's what I was told. So you will be able to walk around and see the cars being restored/prepared.

    For now you can just look through the window.

    Some immaculate 356s, racing 911s together with Cayenne Hybrids!!!

    Porsche Museum February 2009 001.jpg

    Porsche Museum February 2009 003.jpg

    Porsche Museum February 2009 002.jpg

    It's not where you're going, it's how you get there that counts

    Re: Stuttgart/Geneva Show Impressions(long)

    Thanks v much for sharing your experience Smiley Smiley If ever I collect another new car from the factory in Zuffenhausen then I definitely plan to make a visit to the new museum.

    Rennteam Moderator - 997S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection

    Re: Stuttgart/Geneva Show Impressions(long)

    Thank you for the write up. I would like to make the trip to Germany to see the new Porsche museum.  Interesting observations about WW.  Not what I would have expected, and very refreshing. Such an interesting contrast between Porsche and GM. Consider GM and Porsche management from 50 years ago informed of  today's realities!  There's real wisdom to "admire w/o desire".  Thanks for the pictures reginos.
    Carpe Diem

    Re: Stuttgart/Geneva Show Impressions(long)

    Interesting observations! I do plan to visit the new Porsche museum in a few couple of weeks but judging already from the museum´s pictures the impression you gained about the cars´ showcasing is certainly intended. The museum´s archtects, Delugan Meissl, traditionally break with conservative layouts - the (visual) intersection of floors and tilted surfaces have been their trademark.

    Out of curiousity, how did you get the impression that VAG´s brands appear to be under Porsche´s control?

    Re: Stuttgart/Geneva Show Impressions(long)

    Although I do not really understand the extent of actual supervisory control, I assume that Porsche's controlling stock interest in VAG gives Porsche significant say in manufacturing, design and competition direction.  If you or anyone can explain the real effect of the stock control, I would be interested in knowing.



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