The company in Zuffenhausen (Germany) since 1948 bears the name of the famous automobile designer Ferdinand Porsche (emphasis on the first syllable). It specializes in the production of sports cars, and in addition, it functions as a research center with its own test site, fulfilling orders from various companies for the design and development of new designs. The emblem of “Porsche” was based on the coat of arms of Zuffenhausen, which has now become a district of Stuttgart.

The Porsche logo has undergone several changes, but the horse on its hind legs in the center of the emblem has always been a key figure.

Everything for the client

One of the features is an unusual organization of production. All cars are made to order, as warehousing in this case is an unaffordable luxury.

This sales system has both advantages and disadvantages. The big plus – plus for customers – is that Porsche can cater to their every need. However, for the plant, this greatly complicates the work. For example, when assembling motors, you cannot use a traditional conveyor, where a worker stands still and, after waiting for the next motor to approach him, performs one or two operations.

“Our conveyor is designed in such a way that the worker accompanies the motor from the beginning of the assembly to the end. The motor travels from one “station” to another. And the assembler walking next to him takes the parts needed at that moment at each “station” and installs them, the installer knows exactly which parts he has to install,” says Ralf Thomas Briegel, one of the PR specialists.

All cars, without exception, are tested at the factory test site. In addition, all assembled engines are tested on special stands in 17 modes.

Independence from giants

But the rational and ingenious organization of production is only one of the many components of success. Manfred Aiass, Head of Porsche Group Investor Relations, believes that the importance of the company’s independence from larger concerns should not be underestimated. The Porsche family has always held a controlling stake and has thus been able to defend the independence of their company. In general, the financial situation of Porsche at the moment in Germany is unique. This concern is very dependent on the sale of its products in the US market.

Therefore, the appreciation of the euro sharply inflates the prices of Porsche products in the United States. In order not to depend on jumps and drops in exchange rates, the group has concluded special agreements with banks that guarantee it an exchange at a clearly defined rate until 2009. Of course, Porsche is forced to pay high insurance premiums, but on the other hand, now the group’s economists have the opportunity to plan for the future, based on clear numbers.

Overcoming mistakes

There were miscalculations in the history of the company. So an attempt to create a “people’s Porsche” – the 914th model ended in failure, largely due to its nondescript appearance.

In the early 90s, Porsche was on the verge of bankruptcy, not least because of the wrong model strategy. According to Manfred Ayass, then the company’s management called for help from Japanese specialists who were endowed with special powers. In particular, all their instructions and recommendations were to be carried out as quickly as possible, without long discussions and bickering at the works council. As a result, after the reorganization of production and the choice of a new strategy, Porsche became the most successful car manufacturer in Germany in just a few years.