For Sale By:Dealer
Drive Type: RWD
Springfield, Missouri, United States
Times are tough in Europe right now, and that unfortunately has reaped disastrous consequences for some of its smallest niche automakers. Gumpert, Wiesmann, Artega and Lola have all filed for bankruptcy this year, and it appears that tuners are not immune to the tough times, either.
Word coming in from across the pond suggests that 9ff and SpeedArt - two of the biggest names in Porsche tuning - have filed for bankruptcy as well. 9ff is best known for the GT9, a radical hypercar barely based on the 911, while SpeedArt was once of the foremost tuners of Porsches.
Fortunately there are still plenty of tuners ready to take a wrench to your Elfen, but the reported demise of these two makes the market a little bit smaller and - for Porsche enthusiasts - maybe the world a little bit lonelier, too.
Walk into a Porsche dealer today, place an order for a Macan and you'll be looking at a waiting period of six months or more before you can expect delivery. That may be common enough for high-end European automakers, but the Macan is meant to lure new buyers to the brand, and the waitlist could be enough to deter them from sticking around.
The solution? Offer to lease them a Boxster or Cayman until their new Macan arrives. Shorter in term that the usual new-car lease, these six-month terms are designed to keep buyers from turning their backs, all the while experiencing the kind of vehicle Porsche does best.
Of course it doesn't hurt that the dealer then gets a used sports car to sell again once the short-term lease is up. And we wouldn't be surprised to see some buyers asking to hold on to their mid-engined sports car for a little longer, either.
Back in 2008, Porsche got the bright idea that it could take over Volkswagen in the midst of the worst economic slump since the Great Depression. Ignoring that this was a catastrophic move for the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer that that eventually resulted in it nearly going bankrupt and eventually being taken over by the same company it sought to control, the aftermath has left Porsche Chairman Wolfgang Porsche and board member Ferdinand Piëch in the crosshairs of seven hedge funds that lost out during the takeover and are now seeking €1.8 billion - $2.43 billion US - in damages from the two execs, according to the BBC.
See, investors bet on Volkswagen's share price going down, partially because Porsche said it wasn't going to attempt a takeover. But Porsche was attempting to take over VW, having bought up nearly 75-percent of VW's publicly traded shares. When word broke that Porsche owned nearly three-quarters of VW (which indicated an imminent takeover attempt), rather than go down like the hedge funds bet it would, VW's share price skyrocketed to over 1,000 euros per share, according to Reuters.
Naturally, when you bet that a company's share price is going to drop and it in turn (temporarily) becomes the world's most valuable company, you lose a lot of money, unless you're able to buy up shares before prices jump too much. This led to a squeeze on the stock, which the hedge funds accuse Porsche and Piëch (who are both members of the Porsche family and supervisory board) of organizing.