An initial agreement between Porsche and Volkswagen allowed for the latter to buy a 42% stake in the former. Now it seems VW's fortunes have improved somewhat and it will instead go for a 49.9% interest. This gives it a much better position should it decide to acquire a full 100% in the sports car maker after the proposed merger of 2011. The transaction is worth €3.9 billion (US$5.8 billion).
Currently the two are cooperating in building certain vehicles. For instance the Cayenne and Touareg SUVs come off the same factory line while Porsche uses VW Group engines like the 3.6-litre V6. VW is also supplying bodies for both the Panamera and Cayenne. Even more synergies will be unlocked as executives try to push greater sales volumes for the once-niche brand. VW CEO Martin Winterkorn says Porsche could sell as many as 150,000 vehicles annually by 2013, effectively doubling its 2008 volumes.
Volkswagen is already Europe's biggest carmaker and is currently nipping at GM's heels for the title of world's second largest. The merger or full buyout will see it controlling potentially-competing prestige brands like Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti and of course Porsche.