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New Porsche CEO faces balancing act

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New Porsche CEO faces balancing act

Guido Reinking

Automotive News Europe -- July 12, 2010 06:01 CET

ROTTACH-EGERN, Germany -- The appointment of VW executive Matthias Mueller as Porsche's CEO is a sign that the sports car maker definitely has come under the umbrella of Volkswagen Group.

To make way for Mueller, Michael Macht will move from CEO at Porsche to production chief at VW on Oct. 1.

But VW CEO Martin Winterkorn is seeking to dispel the impression that Porsche will be run from outside. His promise is that "Porsche will stay Porsche."

The new Porsche CEO has a daunting job: On one hand, he must find synergies between Porsche and other VW group brands. But he cannot damage the brand.

A new Porsche model line, probably in the form of a small SUV based on the Audi Q5, is "very likely," Winterkorn said. A fairly small sports car is possible. Porsche's Weissach development center, which Winterkorn describes as a "jewel," continues to be responsible for the 911.

Winterkorn has left one issue up in the air: Who will be responsible for a new midengine sports car, Porsche or Audi?

But it's certain there will be a "modular sports car parts bin."

Winterkorn makes it clear what Mueller's job is as Porsche CEO: Create synergies and strengthen the cooperation with VW. But Mueller will proceed carefully, the VW CEO said.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100712/COPY/307129918/1193#ixzz0tUrjBM3j

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