Porsche is a German sports car maker that has a worldwide reputation for making high quality, very fast cars. The car maker is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, and employs about 12,000 people around the world. And this a short Porsche car history.
Porsche was founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, an Austro-Hungarian engineer born in what is today the Czech Republic. The first Porsche produced was the Porsche 64. The vehicle was produced in 1939, and sourced many of its components from the original Volkswagen Beetle. The 356 featured a flat-four engine that produced 50 horsepower, and had a top spped of 99 miles per hour. Throughout its history, Porsche has had a close relationship with Volkswagen. The first Volkswagen Beetle was designed by Ferdinand Porsche, and the two carmakers have shared both components and co-production throughout their history.
During World War II, Ferdinand Porsche held the position of Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen; Volkswagen engaged in the production of war supplies and materials for the German effort, and after the war Ferdinand Porsche served a 20 month prison term for his role in the German war effort.After the war, Ferdinand Porsche’s son, Ferry, led the company until Ferdinand Porsche’s release from prison in 1947.
Porsche’s first car after World War II was the 356. Production of the 356 began in 1948 in Gmund, Austria, and later moved to Zuffenhausen, Germany. A total of 76,000 356s were produced during that time period, and production continued even after its replacement, the 911, was introduced in 1963. Ferdinand Porsche died in 1951 from stroke complications, and his son Ferry then became head of the company.
With the introduction of the legendary 911, Porsche began its expansion from its regional car market in Germany and Austria to the international marketplace. The 911 is the most recognized Porsche model, and is still in producti0n today. While the vehicle has been updated throughout the years, each generation of the 911 shares the same styling cues and the rear-engine layout. The 911 was the backbone of Porsche sales from its inception through the 70′s, 80′s, 90′s, and to the present. The 911 is still the most popular Porsche model sold in the American market, and enjoys strong sales throughout the rest of the world also. Porsche made a number of attempts through the years to replace the 911, most notably with the 928. The 928 was a front-engine, rear wheel drive coupe produced from 1977 through 1995. The coupe was powered by a V8 engine, and enjoyed moderate success throughout the world. It was not, however, able to replace the venerable 911.
Cayenne, Boxster, Cayman, and Panamera
In addition to the 911, the most successful car in Porsche history, the present Porshe lineup includes the Cayenne, the Boxster, the Cayman, and the Panamera. The Boxster and the Cayman, like the 911, are sport coupes. The Panamera is a four door sports car which is able to carry four adults comfortably. The Cayenne is a four door SUV that was developed in conjunction with Volkswagen. Volkwagen acquired a controlling stake in Porsche in 2009, and Porsche is now a part of the Volkswagen group.