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…The more things stay the same. Porsche is likely to increase its stake in Volkswagen today. That makes big news, and it is. Keep in mind that Ferdinand Porsche was the designer of the original People’s car, the Volkswagen Beetle. It is that Beetle that helped form the car that would carry the Porsche name. Because Ferdinand Porsche received a royalty on every Beetle that was ever built ( x 20million+), Porsche AG, operated by his son Ferry for quite some time, had a comfortable financial situation to help develop their sports car business.

Much of the power behind VW is held by Ferdinand Piech, son of Ferry’s sister, therefore Ferdinand’s grandson. Intelligence and eccentricity met together, and Ferdinand Piech was the result. Brilliant engineering decisions met with horrible marketing motives, and Ferdinand Piech was the cause. Anyway, Piech is a large shareholder in Porsche as well as being a force behind VW. Forget the formal titles. Piech is not ‘permitted’ to have decision-making ability at Porsche and he has had two successors at VW now, yet he manages to play the puppeteer with alacrity. And audacity. Piech is a paragon of German boardroom and backroom shaking and baking, but he engenders strong opinions.

So you see. Ferdinand basically jump-started both companies, and Ferdinand has control in 2007. Porsche and Piech. Grandfather and grandson.