There’s an oft-repeated anecdote from 1990: the setting is a technical seminar in Berlin for engineers in the automotive industry. During a break, two participants are talking about the 911. One of them, a leading engineer for a major car maker from southern Germany, says: "If I had to improve that car, I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea. I think it would be incredibly difficult." The other, a leading engineer at Porsche, regards his counterpart with incredulity, and says nothing. It still elicits a chuckle from August Achleitner today when he thinks of his befuddlement back then in Berlin. Further developing the 911 has been his job for almost 20 years. Achleitner is the director of the 911 model line and is thus something like the keeper of the Porsche grail. "The heart of the company," he calls the 911. If one were to strip down everything that bears a Porsche logo, that exemplifies and drives the company, to reveal the core of the brand, it would look like a 911. With its unmista...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.