Porsche’s growing influence on Volkswagen is manifesting itself in future product plan timings.
The next generation Porsche Cayenne will appear on the market half a year before the Mark II Volkswagen Touareg, giving VW a big disadvantage in the market.
According to Automobilwoche, the Cayenne will be launched in the first half of 2010, while sales of the Touareg will start in the second half of the year. The timing appears to be directly traceable to Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking’s growing influence on Volkswagen management.
A Volkswagen senior manager told Automobilwoche that VW is disadvantaged by the product timing. “We are not pleased with a longer product lifetime for the current Touareg in comparison to the Cayenne. They compete head-on the market place.”
The two cars will be developed in close cooperation with one another, so any resentment between the companies would be damaging. The first generation models were launched simultaneously at the end of 2002.
Wiedeking is reportedly in a hurry to bring out the second generation Cayenne because he is concerned that rising fuel prices, particularly in the US, will depress the SUV market. In addition Porsche is keen to bring a hybrid version to market as quickly as possible and, at the moment, Wiedeking is reportedly anxious that engineers are not developing an appropriate electronic architecture quickly enough.
VW CEO Martin Winterkorn is more relaxed because, unlike Porsche, VW has fuel-efficient diesel engines to fall back on.