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Be more optimistic Porsche boss

Porsche boss, Wendelin Wiedeking says we should be more optimistic.

...yet business should still refrain from being pessimistic, says the head of Porsche.

Dr Wendelin Wiedeking, the president and CEO of Porsche, believed that the economy was 50 per cent psychology and that negative attitudes based on poorly thought out assumptions would exacerbate the situation.

"I am everything but a pessimist," he says, "so I can only warn everyone even in the current market to see the future only in a dark light."

However, Dr Wiedeking says the symptoms of the financial crisis could not be ignored.

He pointed to "unsolved problems" that some manufacturers had been "neglecting for years" as having the ability to threaten the existence of some companies.

"It is a fact that this crisis will see both winners and losers," he says.

Dr Wiedeking, speaking at the launch of a new-generation Porsche Boxster, says he was taking from personal experience.

Porsche had experienced near bankruptcy in 1993 that resulted in the death of two models the 944 and 928 and the birth of the Boxster.

"The 928 and 944 no longer contributed to our profits," he says.

"We urgently needed a fresh product. Porsche was worth 300 million Deutschemarks and we needed an investment of 1.5 billion Deutschemarks to create a new model."

The Boxster concept was shown at the 1993 Detroit motor show and the public embraced the car. It started production in early 1996 and until 2008 and consistently exceeded sales forecasts.

"We have sold up to 28,000 Boxsters and (its fixed-roof twin) Caymans a year and they have become an indispensable part of our product portfolio," Dr Wiedeking says.

For 2007/08, Boxster and Cayman sales fell to 21,747 as the model ended its first generation lifespan.

"But this was still the third-best result ever since the start of Boxster production in 1996. And this figure is all the more remarkable considering that the global economy slumped significantly last year as a result of the crisis in the financial market."

"We have learnt from the corporate crisis we experienced ourselves in the early 1990s and we have done our homework.

"We at Porsche have the definite intention together with Volkswagen to be among the (corporate) winners.

"Even though this year we will not be achieving the record sales, revenues and profits we saw a year ago, we are still looking ahead full of confidence.

"Through our share in the Volkswagen Group now more than 50 per cent we have secured our business case on a long lasting, ongoing basis."