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Porsche appoints new product chief

2010-08-30 06:23
The man who masterminded Porsche’s controversial (and incredibly successful) Cayenne SUV, will soon take over as Zuffenhausen’s new chief product strategist.

As Volkswagen settles into its position as Porsche’s owner – after the corporate malaise which saw the sportscar manufacturer lose its independence last year – key personnel is being moved around between the two companies at a heady rate.

Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert will take the reins as product strategist, filling the void left by Matthais Mueller who was promoted to CEO.

Michael Macht, Porsche’s previous CEO, has been moved across to VW as production boss – a move seen by many as a demotion of sorts.

What the latest corporate musical chairs at Porsche does indicate is the growing influence of VW in the decision making process.

Where does this leave the products?

In principle, Wolpert is a Porsche company man who is not afraid to explore new product niches. He got the Cayenne signed off after all. Having been with the company since 1984, he does have a keen sense of Porsche's heritage.

So, expect shared platforms and engines in the not too distant future, with Porsche still retaining the best high-end bits. Good for VW, less so for the Porsche cachet, but a fair compromise perhaps.

Then again, VW’s production skills may come in handy as Porsche aims to ramp up its volumes.

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