THE STAND-OFF BETWEEN Volkswagen and Porsche has come to a close today, with a Supervisory Board meeting between Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft and Porsche Automobil Holding SE clearing the way for an integrated automotive group combining Volkswagen and Porsche.
With final details of the joint concept to be resolved in the coming weeks, representatives of the Porsche and Piech families, along with the State of Lower Saxony and the workforces of both companies, have expressed satisfaction that foundations have now been laid for a merger.
Dr. Ferdinand K. Pi?ch, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, said: ?Together, Volkswagen and Porsche have all it takes to occupy a leading position in the international automotive industry.?
Talking in Stuttgart, Dr. Wolfgang Porsche emphasized that today?s resolutions represented a landmark decision and a milestone achievement for the future, adding: ?Porsche will preserve the myth and identity of the Porsche brand in the integrated group. That brings new prospects for growth.?
The Gulf state of Qatar, which had been in discussions to buy a stake in Porsche, will take 17 percent of Volkswagen with options accumulated from Porsche.
As a result, Qatar will become the third-largest investor in Volkswagen AG, Europe's number one car manufacturer and the third largest in the world behind General Motors in second and Toyota on the top step.
VW board chairman Martin Winterkorn said of the merger: "Volkswagen and Porsche have excellent know-how at their disposal and can use their resources even more efficiently by combining them.
"At the same time, we can call on our considerable experience in the integration of proud and successful brands rich in tradition. Like Audi today, Porsche can also continue its independent development under the aegis of Volkswagen and preserve its own identity."
Volkswagen has made clear in the past its goal of overtaking Toyota as the world's number one carmaker by 2018, and with the 'New GM' organisation - recently emerged from a US Chapter 11 bankruptcy - looking to streamline its operations, Volkswagen may usurp its place as number two carmaker as early as this year.