The German sports car maker Porsche is playing down the possibility that it will take majority control of Volkswagen this year as planned. Sales over four months are down 15 per cent as the global recession has hammered demand for its luxury models. But at the company’s annual news conference, the chief executive confirmed that Porsche still has its sights set on Europe’s biggest car-manufacturer next year.
Porsche’s Chief Executive, Wendelin Wiedeking, said: “We still intend to increase our stake in Volkswagen to 75 per cent in 2009. But given the current economic climate, neither we nor our rivals are in a position to say exactly how long this game will play out.”
Porsche’s chief financial officer said the company was not prepared to buy more shares in Europe’s biggest car manufacturer at what he called “economically absurd” prices. At the moment, VW shares are around 260 euros each, but in October they briefly rocketed to 1000 euros when Porsche announced they’d secured access to more that 74 per cent of VW votes. Porsche is believed to have made billions, but denied breaking any law.