Volkswagen and Porsche are joining forces for the future. In 2011, the two companies will merge to form a strong, integrated automotive group. An important first milestone was Volkswagen’s acquisition of a 49.9 percent stake in Porsche AG in December 2009. The major goal: to become the number one in the automotive industry. The key success factor: around 400,000 highly qualified employees who work to ensure the success of the future company.
POOLING TECHNOLOGICAL STRENGTHS
Stefanie Wankum (31) is a development engineer at Porsche. “Even when I was still studying, this was my dream job,” says Wankum. At present, she is part of the Porsche team working on strategies for electrifying drivetrains. And she believes that the company has a bright future with Volkswagen: “Each company benefits from the technological strengths of the other.” Wankum firmly believes that Porsche is second to none when it comes to developing high-performance engines: “And as part of the Volkswagen Group, we will have access to one of the largest research departments in the automotive sector.”
A foretaste of such a cooperation came in the form of the hybrid drive for the new Cayenne, which Porsche has already developed together with Volkswagen. Wankum sees other benefits as well: “Working together will make it easier for Porsche to tap into young markets, for instance the growth markets of China and India, where Volkswagen already has extensive experience and a sound infrastructure.”
GIANT STEPS ON THE WAY TO THE TOP
Volkswagen designer Marco Antonio Pavone (32) has worked in Wolfsburg since 2005. His recent assignments include designing the new Polo and working on studies such as the new Volkswagen UP!. Born in Brazil of Italian descent, Pavone originally worked at Volkswagen do Brazil: “I always wanted to work for Volkswagen. The brand is very popular in Brazil – and what’s more, my father used to drive a VW Beetle.”
Now based at Volkswagen headquarters in Wolfsburg, he hopes to develop cars for all key car markets in Europe, the USA and the Far East. “I see Germany as the heart of the automotive world,” says Pavone. He has no doubt that Volkswagen has what it takes to establish itself as the number one carmaker: “We can achieve this faster than many people think – especially since the Porsche takeover.” After all, Volkswagen’s success lies in producing cars for the mass market and, with Porsche on board, it now has a strong brand in the luxury segment: “So now we can reach all categories of buyers.”