Managements Essay

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Ferdinand Porsche

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(December 2006)

This article is about the founder of Porsche automobiles. For his grandson, the designer
of the Porsche 911, see Ferdinand Alexander Porsche.

Ferdinand Porsche

Born 3 September 1875
Maffersdorf, Bohemia, Austro-Hungarian Empire
Died 30 January 1951 (aged 75)
Stuttgart, West Germany[1]
Nationality Austro-Hungarian, Austrian, German
Children Ferry Porsche and Louisa Porsche
Work
Significant projects Mercedes-Benz SS/SSK, Tiger I, Tiger II, the Elefant, and the Volkswagen Beetle
Significant awards German National Prize for Art and Science
Ferdinand Porsche[2] (3 September 1875 ? 30 January 1951) was an Austrian-German
automotive engineer and honorary Doctor of Engineering. He is best known for creating the
first hybrid vehicle (gasoline-electric), the Volkswagen Beetle, and the Mercedes-Benz
SS/SSK, as well as the first of many Porsche automobiles. Porsche designed the 1923 Benz
Tropfenwagen, which was the first race car with mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout.

Known in business circles as the "great engineer",[3] he made a number of contributions to
advanced German tank designs: Tiger I, Tiger II, and the Elefant as well as the
super-heavy Panzer VIII Maus tank, which was never put into production. He also made
contributions in aircraft design, including the Junkers Ju 88, and the Focke-Wulf Ta
152.[4] Additionally, he helped develop and manufacture retaliatory weapons
(Vergeltungswaffen), such as the V-1 flying bombs(Fi 103 flying bombs).[5] In 1937,
Porsche was awarded the German National Prize for Art and Science, one of the rarest
decorations in Nazi Germany.

In 1996, Porsche was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and in 1999
posthumously won the award of Car Engineer of the Century.

Contents ?[hide]?
1 Early life
2 Early career
3 Austro-Daimler
4 Founding of Porsche
4.1 Volkswagen Beetle
4.2 Auto Union racing car
5 Post war
6 Return to Stuttgart
7 Views on Labor
8 References
9 Further reading
10 External links
[edit]Early life

See also: Porsche family
Ferdinand Porsche was born to German-speaking parents in Maffersdorf (Czech: Vratislavice
nad Nisou), northern Bohemia, during the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, what is
today the Czech Republic. He showed high aptitude for mechanical work at a very young age.
He managed to attend classes at the Imperial Technical School in Reichenberg (Czech:
Liberec) at night while helping his father in his mechanical shop by day. Thanks to a
referral, Porsche landed a job with the B?la Egger Electrical company in Vienna when he
turned 18.[6] In Vienna he would sneak into the local university whenever he could after
work. Beyond auditing classes there, Porsche had never received any higher engineering
education. During his five years with B?la Egger, Porsche first developed the electric hub
motor. [7]

[edit]Early career

In 1898, Porsche joined the Vienna-based factory Jakob Lohner & Co, that produced coaches
for Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, as well as for the kings of England, Sweden, and
Romania.[citation needed] Jakob Lohner had begun construction of automobiles in 1896 under
Ludwig Lohner in the trans-Danubian suburb of Floridsdorf.

Their first design, unveiled in 1898, was the "System Lohner-Porsche", a carriage-like car
driven by two electric motors, directly fitted within the front wheel hubs, and powered by
batteries. This drive train construction was easily expanded to four-wheel drive, by
simply mounting two more electric motors to the rear wheels as well, and indeed such a
specimen was ordered by the Englishman E. W. Hart in 1900. In December that year, the car
was presented at the Paris World Exhibition under the name Toujours-Contente. Even though
this one-off vehicle[8] had been commissioned for the purposes of racing and
record-breaking, the 1,800 kg of lead acid batteries it required graphically illustrated
the limits of this powertrain concept. Though it "showed wonderful speed when it was
allowed to sprint",[citation needed] the weight of its huge battery pack meant that it was
singularly reluctant to climb hills and suffered from limited range due to limited battery
life.



The Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid
Still employed by Lohner, Porsche reached the logical conclusion and in 1901 introduced
the "Mixte" vehicle/transmission concept: instead of a massive battery-pack, an internal
combustion engine built by the German firm, Daimler, was fitted to a generator to drive
the electric hub motors and (for vehicle reliability) a small battery pack. This way
Porsche had created the first petroleum electric hybrid vehicle on record, although since
sufficiently reliable gears and couplings weren't available at the time, he chose to make
it a series-hybrid, an arrangement currently more common in diesel-electric or
turbo-electric railway locomotives than automobiles.

Though over 300 Lohner-Porsche chassis were sold up to 1906, most of them were two-wheel
drive?either front- or rear-wheel driven trucks, buses and fire-engines. No further
four-wheel-drive passenger cars were manufactured, however some buses were fitted with it.

The up to 56 km/h (35 mph) fast carriages broke several Austrian speed records, and also
won the Exelberg Rally in 1901 with Porsche himself piloting a front-wheel drive hybrid
specimen. It was later upgraded with more powerful engines from Daimler and Panhard, which
proved to be enough to post more speed records. In 1905, Porsche was recognized with the
Poetting prize as Austria's most outstanding automotive engineer.

In 1902, he was drafted into military service. He served as a chauffeur to Archduke Franz
Ferdinand of Austria, the crown prince of Austria whose assassination sparked World War I
a mere decade later.

[edit]Austro-Daimler

In 1906, Austro-Daimler recruited Porsche as their chief designer. Porsche's best known
Austro-Daimler car was designed for the Prince Henry Trial in 1910, named after Wilhelm
II's younger brother Prince Heinrich of Prussia. Examples of this streamlined, 85
horsepower (63 kW) car won the first three places, and the car is still better known by
the nickname "Prince Henry" than by its model name "Modell 27/80".

Porsche had advanced to Managing Director by 1916 and received the honorary doctorate
degree, "Dr. techn h.c." from the Vienna University of Technology in 1917 (hence the "Dr.
Ing h.c" in his name, meaning "Doktor Ingenieur Honoris Causa"). Porsche successfully
continued to construct racing cars, winning 43 out of 53 races with his 1922 design. In
1923, Porsche left Austro-Daimler after differences ensued about the future direction of
car development.

Only a few months later Porsche landed a new job as Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft's
Technical Director in Stuttgart, Weimar Germany, which was already then a major hub for
the German automotive industry. He received another honorary doctorate from the Stuttgart
Technical University for his work at Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft in Stuttgart and later
the honorary title Professor. While at Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft, he came up with
several very successful race car designs. The heavy series of models equipped with
superchargers that later culminated in the Mercedes-Benz SSK dominated its class of motor
racing in the 1920s.

In 1926, Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft and Benz & Cie merged into Daimler-Benz, with their
joint products beginning to be called, Mercedes-Benz. Porsche's concept of a small,
light-weight Mercedes-Benz car was not popular with Daimler-Benz's board, however. He left
in 1929 for Steyr Automobile, but the Great Depression brought about Steyr's economic
collapse and Porsche ended up being unemployed.

[edit]Founding of Porsche

Main article: Porsche
In April 1931 Porsche founded his consulting firm, Dr. req. h.c. F. Porsche GmbH,
Konstruktionen und Beratungen f?r Motoren und Fahrzeugbau, in Stuttgart, where he
returned. With financial backing from the Austrian advocate Anton Pi?ch and Adolf
Rosenberger, Porsche successfully recruited several old co-workers he befriended at his
former places of employment including Karl Rabe, Erwin Komenda, Franz Xaver Reimspiess,
and his son, Ferry Porsche.

Their first project was the design of a middle class car for Wanderer. Other commissioned
designs followed. As the business grew, Porsche decided to work on his own design as well,
which happened to be a reincarnation of the small car concept from his days at
Daimler-Benz in Stuttgart. He financed the project with a loan on his life insurance.
Later Z?ndapp decided to help sponsor the project, but lost interest after their success
with motorcycles. NSU then took over the sponsorship, but also lost interest due to the
high tooling costs.

With car commissions low in the depressed economic climate, Porsche founded a subsidiary
company Hochleistungs Motor GmbH (High Performance Engines Ltd.) in 1932 to develop a
racing car, for which he had no customer. Based on Max Wagner's mid-engined layout 1923
Benz Tropfenwagen, or "Teardrop" aerodynamic design; the experimental P-Wagen project
racing car (P stood for Porsche), was designed according to the regulations of the 750 kg
formula. The main regulation of this formula meant that the weight of the car without
driver, fuel, oil, water and tire was not allowed to exceed 750 kg.

In 1932 Auto Union Gmbh was formed, comprising struggling auto manufacturers Audi, DKW,
Horch and Wanderer. The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Baron Klaus von Oertzen wanted
a show piece project, so at fellow director Adolf Rosenberger's insistence, von Oertzen
met with Porsche, who had done work for him before. At the 1933 Berlin Motor Show, German
Chancellor Adolf Hitler announced two new programs:

The people's car: Hitler made it his political agenda to motorize the nation, and that
every German should own either a car or a tractor in the future.

Continues for 9 more pages >>




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    Ferdinand Porsche This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2006) This article is about the founder of Porsche automobiles. For his grandson, the designer of the Porsche 911, see Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. Ferdinand Porsche Born 3 September 1875 Maffersdorf, Bohemia, Austro-Hungarian Empire Died 30 January 1951 (aged 75) Stuttgart, West Germany[