The stress fractures in the relationship between Volkswagen and its biggest shareholder, Porsche, continue to widen.
"There is broad uncertainty on the question of who in the alliance actually will have operational control," said a VW executive who did not want to be identified. "It is high time for Porsche to declare unequivocally that it intends to stay out of VW's daily business, even after its scheduled acquisition of a majority stake."
As a prime example of meddling, VW executives point to Porsche's recent attempt to influence pricing and launch strategies for the next generation of the VW Touareg. The SUV, being developed with Porsche, is due in 2010.
For their part, some Porsche insiders complain that practice bodies for the Porsche Panamera premium sedan, which are being produced by a VW subsidiary, are substandard. The Panamera is scheduled to debut next year.
Porsche and VW employee representatives also disagree on how to share power in the management of Porsche Automobil SE, the holding company for both automakers.
IG Metall, the German metalworkers union, held a demonstration on Friday, Sept. 12, at VW headquarters to protest Porsche's growing role in Volkswagen. VW's supervisory board was meeting the same day.