2009 FRANKFURT MOTOR SHOW: Porsche is, and isnt, part of the VW family

By the time the Frankfurt auto show opened to the press, the Porsche-VW takeover soap opera had already played out to its conclusion: Porsche’s attempt to swallow much-larger VW failed, and instead VW absorbed Porsche, and it will become the VW Group’s tenth brand.

;At the big VW Group preview event on the eve of press days, Porsche’s new president and CEO, Michael Macht was extended a warm welcome—he was introduced just after all-conquering VW Group supremo, “professor doctor” Ferdinand Piech.

As the crowd of more than 2000 looked on, each Volkswagen Group brand got to roll one new model down the makeshift street onto the stage—Skoda (the Octavia station wagon), Volkswagen truck (the new Multivan), Seat (the new Ibiza), Bentley (the Mulsanne), Bugatti (a Sang Blue custom), Audi (the R8 Spider), Lamborghini (the Reventon convertible), Scania (a new semi truck, parked outside but beamed in on the big screen), and Volkswagen (the e Up! concept). What about Porsche (which had five cars making their debut at the show)? Maybe next time. By then, there might also be time to add Porsche’s logo to the other nine on the event signage.

The next day at Porsche’s auto show press conference, Michael Macht spoke glowingly about the new era of cooperation between Porsche and VW, as the steel-eyed Piech sat with his wife in the front row. Porsche cars, though, were set apart in Hall 5, while the rest of the VW Group occupied Hall 3. Evidently, it’s far easier—and quicker—to integrate executives than car companies.