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Porsche expects closer relationship with VW

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Wiedeking looks for more synergies with Porsche, VW

Porsche CEO will take an active role on supervisory board

Henning Krogh

Automotive News / February 13, 2006 - 1:16 pm

Dubai. Now that Porsche has become the largest shareholder in Volkswagen, Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking will concentrate on intensifying the search for synergies between the two companies.

"Our cooperation on the Cayenne and the Touareg (SUVs) is the model," Wiedeking told Automobilwoche at a Porsche presentation in the United Arab Emirates. "Now it's time to examine what can be devised together -- and when and how."

Last September, Porsche became VW's largest single shareholder after increasing its stake in the company to 18.53 percent.?

Besides collaboration with VW on hybrid drive technology, Wiedeking is hoping for cost savings in vehicle electronics. In the near future, Wiedeking expects the share of electronic components in the total cost of a car to rise to 35 percent from about 26 percent today.

"The use of common modules … in product development and in longer production runs saves us a ton of money," he said.

For example, Porsche is planning to leverage its tighter links with Volkswagen to help it build Porsche's future Panamera, a four-door sedan. VW and Porsche will cooperate on the paint and body construction for the vehicle. Porsche plans to use VW's facilities to make body shells for the Panamera, which is due in 2009.

Volkswagen already supplies the body shells for the Porsche Cayenne SUV, which shares much of its metal with VW's Touareg.

VW's Mosel and Bratislava factories have the best chance for future Panamera work. The Austrian contract manufacturer Magna Steyr is also in the running. A decision is expected by May.

Although a meeting between Wiedeking and VW brand chief Wolfgang Bernhard has not been set, Wiedeking said he will be active in his new role on VW's supervisory board.

"I won't be just serving my time there," he said.

Wiedeking wants to help solve the problem of overcapacity in the VW factory network with "new ideas."

Said Wiedeking: "You can downsize or you can go on the attack."

Link: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti...7&rssfeed=rss07

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