Posted: 06 Mar 2011 02:01 PM PST
Volkswagen has acquired the operating business of Porsche Holding Salzburg (PHS) in accordance with previous announcements. The transfer of the automobile trading company takes place at a value of €3.3 billion on March 1, 2011. The registered office and corporate headquarters will remain in Salzburg.
With the acquisition which was already foreseen in the comprehensive agreement, Volkswagen is completing the next planned step towards the creation of the integrated automotive group of Volkswagen and Porsche. “The business performance of Porsche Holding Salzburg is outstanding. It is one of the worlds most efficient and profitable automobile trading companies and will therefore significantly strengthen the Volkswagen Group’s sales activities,” Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, commented. He added that PHS had industry-leading systems and processes and enormous experience in the retail sector. “Where meaningful, we will be transferring this know-how to the Group, thereby further enhancing the performance of our overall sales activities,” Winterkorn commented.
Volkswagen is acquiring all automobile operations of PHS such as the wholesale and retail business, Porsche Informatik, Porsche Bank, Porsche Immobilien and Porsche Versicherung as well as PGA Motors headquartered in Paris.
“Under the Volkswagen Group umbrella, PHS will retain its status as an independent organizational unit and continue with its business model unchanged,” Christian Klingler, Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft Board member for Sales, underscored. “All assets remain intact. That also applies to the automobile trading business relating to all non-Group brands. The controlled growth course of PHS is to continue,” Klingler added.
PHS is Europe’s most successful private automobile trading company and has a particularly strong presence in Austria, Western Europe and South Eastern Europe as well as China. In the 2010 calendar year, unit sales of 565,000 new and used vehicles generated sales revenue of €12.78* billion, with profitability higher than the market average. PHS employs some 20,900 people.
* provisional figures
Posted: 06 Mar 2011 12:49 PM PST
After initial difficulties: Juho Hanninen / Mikko Markkula (FIN), Skoda Fabia S2000, finish third in the S-WRC as the best of the Skoda teams in Mexico, ninth in the overall classification.
The season opener in Mexico unfortunately did not end with the hoped-for top result for the newly formed Team Red Bull Skoda. The reigning Finnish IRC champions Juho Hanninen/Mikko Markkula finished third in the S-WRC with their Skoda Fabia S2000, taking a top ten result in the overall classification.
As expected the 2011 Rally Mexico became a battle of materiel – and the teams’ physical limit of performance was reached several times as well, not just because of the enormous elevation above sea level.
Hanninen/Markkula had the worst conceivable start to the first WRC test of the year. Above all the second of a total of 22 special stages round Leon passed off more than unfortunately. First the two Finns made the unpleasant acquaintance of a wall, whereupon quite a lot had to be replaced on the Skoda. Furthermore the reverse gear failed – trivial pushing was on the agenda.
With that the initial euphoria was somewhat curbed, nevertheless Hanninen still set two best times in the S-WRC.
On the second day the two Red Bull drivers were driving as if unleashed and to a great extent without problems. With a total of a further four fastest times Hanninen/Markkula halved the deficit to S-WRC leader Al-Attiyah to one minute.
Three more stages and just under sixty competitive kilometres were left to be run on today’s third and final day. Hanninen started the final day with his seventh fastest stage time, making up seven seconds over Prokop and 15 seconds over Al-Attiyah.
The Finn is 22 seconds short of P2 and Martin Prokop (CZE).
The race to catch up was then brought to an end on the penultimate stage – Hanninen lost a minute, the reason: a roll and the resultant tyre damage.
Victory in the S-WRC in Mexico eventually went to the 2011 Paris – Dakar winner, Nasser Al-Attiyah from Qatar, another Red Bull athlete in the sport of rallying.
Third place went to Hanninen/Markkula: The Red Bull Skoda Fabia S2000 had once more been perfectly prepared by the Austrian BRR team – and in the end Hanninen/Markkula were able to be satisfied with their debut: Best Skoda team, eight fastest special stage times and important championship points in Mexico.
The two IRC champions Hanninen/Markkula (FIN) will yet be complemented this year by another Red Bull team: The German rally champions of 2009, Gassner jun./Wüstenhagen, will likewise head into the 2011 S-WRC season with great ambitions – starting with the Jordan Rally, April 14th – 16th, 2011.
Team boss Raimund Baumschlager: “I think that we can be very satisfied with Juho’s outing – except for the beginning and the end. But in between Juho has furnished proof of his class, his morale and also his cleverness.
And eight fastest times showcase that we all headed into this new, ambitious project very well prepared. This makes me very confident for the tasks ahead.”
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