Those sources said that talks have been ongoing despite the fact that Porsche AG spokesman for the board of management Wendelin Wiedeking told financial analaysts in Germany last Tuesday, 'Porsche is independent, and will continue to be independent.' PCNA ceo Frederick Schwabb would not comment on rumored talks between VW and Porsche, and referred to Wiedeking's statement.
Meanwhile, Joel Ewanick, U.S. marketing manager at Reno, Nev.-based Porsche, would not disclose the names of the agencies he has contacted thus far. But insiders identified San Francisco shops Atlas Citron Haligman & Bedecarre; Goldberg Moser O'Neill; Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein; and Mandelbaum Mooney Ashley as contenders in the review. Also piching: Borders Perrin & Norrander, Portland; and Stein Robaire Helm/L.A.
Ewanick made a previous statement that the company would only consider West Coast shops for finalists because of their proximity to Reno. But last week two Texas shops - GSD&M, Austin and The Richards Group, Dallas - emerged as contenders as well.
Only one of the known contenders, Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein, has a national auto account. The agency handles American Isuzu Motors. GBS, if it is invited to pitch as a finalist, would certainly have to obtain permission from its client. But it is not likely to be seen as a conflict, since Isuzu has announced it is getting out of the passenger car business.
The main obstacle to a VW-Porsche deal is known to be the objections of the 83-year-old son of company founder, Professor Ferdinand Porsche.
A Volkswagen of America spokesperson said the company does not comment about any negotiations, but acknowledged that there has been much speculation about VW buying Porsche since Dr. Ferdinand Piech, a member of the family that controls Porsche, took over as chairman of VW AG last year.
Table shows VW and Porsche sales in the US and world.
UNITED SALES: VW PLUS PORSCHE
VW, Audi Seat, Skoda 90,629 3.5 mil
Porsche 4,115 19,100
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)