For Sale By:Dealer
Drive Type: RWD
Springfield, Missouri, United States
Do you recall the failed efforts by Porsche to take over Volkswagen? According to a Bloomberg report, former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking (above) and ex-CFO Holger Haerter have finally been charged with market manipulation over the exercising of options as part of the German sportscar manufacturer's ill-fated attempt to take over the much larger VW. That failed bid eventually resulted in the reverse coming true - VW swallowing Porsche.
The charges leveled by Stuttgart prosecutors come after a three-year investigation centered around allegations that Porsche execs made a concerted effort to increase the company's share in VW to 75 percent in preparation for a hostile takeover. Porsche had previously told its investors on at least five occasions that it had no intention to buy VW.
Portions of the investigation have subsided, according to prosecutors, citing an inability to prove certain improprieties with a "necessary degree of certainty." The number of charges is down to 5 from a previous 14 counts regarding "information-based market manipulation."
Porsche is having a good sales year in the US, with 25,129 vehicles delivered year-to-date coming off the automaker's best July sales ever. That's a 31-percent increase over the same period last year (19,253 deliveries). With year-to-date Panamera sales a surprising 36 percent lower than last year, what possibly could be driving Porsche's sales surge? If you answered Cayman and Boxster sales, you're right. But dealerships are noticing another factor: more women are coming in to buy Porsches, CNBC reports, the bulk of whom picked up new Cayenne SUVs. The German automaker's sales to women in the US have more than doubled in the past two years, increasing from 7 percent to 15 percent. This has helped year-to-date Cayenne sales reach 11,082 - 31 percent higher than the same time last year.
Porsche executives have been trying to tap into the women's market, as evidenced in part by the company's move to pick professional tennis player Maria Sharapova as a brand ambassador. Porsche maintains it has not moved to dramatically change its brand image, but it has shown a number of ads in recent years that uncharacteristically emphasize its vehicles' practicality under the "Engineered for Magic. Everyday" banner - some featuring female drivers.
Be sure to watch CNBC's video report on Porsche's female movement below - you'll also find one of the aforementioned Engineered For Magic ads as well as an interesting case study video on the campaign from ad agency Cramer-Krasselt.
The early Porsche 911 and the Citroën DS were two cars produced in the same era (though the DS launched in 1955, nearly 10 years before the 911), but they were vastly different from each other. The 911 was a uniquely German, pure-bred sports car, while the French-built DS had four doors and focused more on ride quality than sporting intentions. That made it all the more surprising when we came across the 911DS, a creation that binds the rear half of the Citroën to the front of an early, longhood 911.
The folks at Brandpowder are behind the creation, which we surmise was an exercise in design rather than an actual, completed project (some of the images look Photoshopped), but it's compelling nonetheless, with a turbocharged flat-six providing 260 horsepower. We hope someone builds it - though we're sure if that happened the early 911 crowd would cry afoul at one of its increasingly rare and valuable Porsches being grafted onto an old French car.
But as Brandpowder points out lightheartedly, perhaps the creation could transcend popular car culture: "The 911DS represents the effort of two countries, a genuine attempt to join their energy and talent into one thing. We hope Germany and France will be inspired by Brandpowder's story, as a metaphor for a better and greater Europe."