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    Automakers agree to SUV design changes.

    This article is from the New York Times and this is a link to the article in the Austin American Statesman: web page

    Fifteen automakers from 4 nations are participating in making voluntary design changes to their SUV's to make them safer for both their passengers and the passengers of other vehicles the SUV may colide with. There was one notable exception to this collaboration:
    Quote:
    Among well-known automakers that do business in the United States, only Porsche, which sells one of the fastest SUVs, the Cayenne, declined to participate.




    The design changes are to be implemented between 2007 and 2009. If we assume VW is participating, where does that leave Porsche? I would like to see them go it alone with the Cayenne anyway but I imagine some other solution will be found. Also, I doubt Wiedeking has any real objection to the design changes. He just doesn't want anyone else telling him what to do.

    Re: Automakers agree to SUV design changes.

    Quote:
    I doubt Wiedeking has any real objection to the design changes. He just doesn't want anyone else telling him what to do.



    Don't be too sure. Porsche is a little company and any change in technical design (I don't think they're talking about the exterior design) could cost Porsche a lot of money.
    I know that Wiedeking loves to cook his own soup most of the time but sometimes it can backfire.
    For example building the Cayenne in Germany: the main reason was actually VW and the fact that they get the parts from Slovakia, probably not really because customers prefer Porsche cars to be build in Germany. I really think that building the Cayenne in the USA would have made it even more expensive, especially production cost.

    Dr. Wiedeking is a very very clever man and I admire him. But he's also a tough business man, not a heroic rebel as some might see him. And when it comes to business, only money counts.

    Re: Automakers agree to SUV design changes.

    I think the production arrangement worked well for Porsche. I am talking about the final assembly being handled by VW and Porsche seperately. Up until 1998 the plan had been to jointly produce the vehicle, including final assembly. In selecting a production site, Hanover, Portugal and Bratslavia were considered with Piech favoring Slovakia. When Bratslavia was selected, Wiedeking decided this did not fit with his plan and looked for a final assembly point in Germany. He says that 20% of Porsche customers would not buy if the product were not made in Germany. To my mind there is an additional benefit of Porsche handling the final assembly itself. With their own plant they can not only claim "Made in Germany" but also "Built by Porsche". Some may think that claim is weak but with joint production there would have been no opportunity for that claim at all.

     
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