We all recognize the name when we hear it. It makes you think of speed, luxury, and confidence. But, Porsche wasn’t always thriving; in fact, they’ve had various struggles over the years, including bankruptcy. Here’s how Porsche made their grand comeback from near bankruptcy.
Porsche is a German automotive manufacturer that specializes in high-performance sports cars and SUVs. The company was founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, an engineer known for designing the first gas-electric hybrid vehicle and the Volkswagen Beetle. Porsche’s headquarters are located in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
Porsche’s history can be traced back to Ferdinand Porsche’s design work on electric vehicles and race cars in the early 1900s. In addition to creating the first gas-electric hybrid vehicle in 1900, called the Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid, he designed the Mercedes Simplex 60 hp race car , which became one of the most successful racing cars of its time. In 1911, Porsche designed another race car called the Austro-Daimler Sascha, which won several important races including the Targa Florio. In 1931, Ferdinand Porsche founded his own company, Dr.-Ing hc F. Porsche GmbH (now known as simply Porsche AG), with offices in Stuttgart and Vienna. The company initially focused on consulting work for other automakers before eventually starting to develop its own line of automobiles.
In 1950, Ferry Porsche realized that there was enough demand for higher performance versions of their little sports car so they created more powerful engines available as options: a 1.6 L 1600 cc pushrod engine producing 44 hp (33 kW), followed by a 50 hp (37 kW) 1500cc unit used until 1955, then finally replaced by an upgraded 1120cc engine making 60 hp (45 kW) using dome pistons. Increasing success with its iconic sports cars brought increasing financial difficulties for founder Ferdinand “Ferry” Porche’s son, Ferry, had taken over control from his father but despite efforts to raise capital funds through issuing shares failed when no buyers were forthcoming at 350 DM per share – costly ones after World War 2. This led to him selling 5/6th stake each to both Professors Heinz Nordhoff at VW and Anton Piëch at Daimler Benz, giving them control over manufacturing. Final assembly continued to be carried out at Zuffenhausen under Professor Helmuth Bott, who also sat on the Board at VW. By this time, relations between Daimler Benz and VW were becoming strained due largely to Nordhoffs belief that all German auto manufacturers should cooperate following WWII rather than compete against each other.
In May 1951 construction began on a new purpose-built factory complex at Zuffenhausen, which allowed capacity for future growth – coinciding with the introduction of their first split window models. Presented at Frankfurt IAA show in September 1953, it caused such sensation orders flowed in; peaking around Christmas with customers even willing to pay substantial premiums to get their hands on one sooner.
In 2002, Porsche introduced another game-changing model: the Cayenne SUV. Although some purists initially balked at the idea of a Porsche SUV, the Cayenne has since become one of the brand’s best-selling models.
Today, Porsche continues to produce some of the most desirable automobiles on the planet. Thanks to models like the 911, Panamera, Macan, and Cayenne, Porsche is now one of the most recognizable and respected brands in the world.