The History of Porsche
Porsche Automobil Holding SE, usually shortened to Porsche, is a German automotive manufacturer of luxury high performance automobiles, which is majority-owned by the Piëch and Porsche families. Porsche SE is headquartered in Zuffenhausen, a city district of Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg.Porsche SE is a holding company which has two main subsidiaries – Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG (which stands for Doktor Ingenieur honoris causa Ferdinand Porsche Aktiengesellschaft), often shortened to Porsche AG, and Volkswagen AG. Porsche AG is the subsidiary of Porsche SE which is responsible for the actual production and manufacture of the Porsche automobile line, and Volkswagen AG is the parent company of the Volkswagen Group, which includes (but is not limited to) the automotive marques Audi, Bentley Motors, Bugatti Automobiles and Lamborghini.
The company was founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, an Austro-Hungarian engineer born in Maffersdorf, Austria-Hungary. Ferdinand Porsche is also known for designing the first Volkswagen, but Béla Barényi is credited with having conceived the basic design five years earlier. The company currently produces 911 (997), Boxster and Cayman sports cars and Cayenne sport utility vehicles. The latest model line, the four-door Panamera saloon (sedan), was launched on Monday, 20 April 2009 and more recently, a spider version of the Boxster was announced and unveiled at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Porsche's company logo was based on the coat of arms of Free People's State of Württemberg of former Weimar Germany, which had Stuttgart as its capital and became part of Baden-Württe mberg after the political consolidation of West Germany in 1949.
In August 2009, Porsche SE and Volkswagen AG reached an agreement that the two companies would merge in 2011, to form an "Integrated Automotive Group".
The company has been highly successful in recent times, and indeed claims to have the highest profit per unit sold of any car company in the world.
Porsche made a brave entry into the SUV market with the Cayenne in 2003 with many believing the credibility of the Porsche brand would be damaged. Despite the controversy the Cayenne has been a success, generating enough profit for the company to invest in and upgrade the existing model range, as well as fund the Panamera project. Well over 250,000 Cayennes are said to have been built.
The design group gave sequential numbers to every project (356, 550, etc.), but the designated 901 nomenclature contravened Peugeot's trademarks on all 'x0x' names, so it was adjusted to 911. Racing models adhered to the "correct" numbering sequence: 904, 906, 908. The 911 has become Porsche's most well-known and iconic model – successful on the race-track, in rallies, and in terms of road car sales. Far more than any other model, the Porsche brand is defined by the 911. It remains in production; however, after several generations of revision, current-model 911s share only the basic mechanical concept of a rear-engined, six-cylinder coupé, and basic styling cues with the original car. A cost-reduced model with the same body, but 356-derived running gear (including its four-cylinder engine), was sold as the 912.
In 2004, production of the 456 kilowatts (620 PS; 612 bhp) Carrera GT commenced in Leipzig, and at EUR 450,000 it was the most expensive production model Porsche ever built.
The company has always had a close relationship with, initially, the Volkswagen (VW) marque, and later, the Volkswagen Group (which also owns AUDI AG), because the first Volkswagen Beetle was designed by Ferdinand Porsche. The two companies collaborated in 1969 to make the VW-Porsche 914 and 914-6, whereby the 914-6 had a Porsche engine, and the 914 had a Volkswagen engine, in 1976 with the Porsche 912E (USA only) and the Porsche 924, which used many Audi components, and was built at Audi's Neckarsulm factory. Most Porsche 944s also were built there, although they used far fewer Volkswagen components. The Cayenne, introduced in 2002, shares its entire chassis with Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7, which is built at the Volkswagen Group factory in Bratislava.
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