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Ferdinand Porsche Edit Profile

Automotive engineer

Ferdinand Porsche (3 September 1875 – 30 January 1951) was an Austrian-German automotive engineer and honorary Doctor of Engineering. He was best known for creating the first hybrid vehicle, 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.

Background

Design engineer Professor Dr. Ing. h.c. Ferdinand Porsche, the third of five children, was born in Maffersdorf on 3rd September 1875. His father, Anton Porsche, was the owner of a plumbing workshop. Anton's son, Ferdinand, was expected to take over the family business, but he had other interests: at the age of 14 he was already performing experiments with electricity. However, his father was not very impressed with this. On the contrary, for a long time he tried to forbid his son from busying himself with “such nonsense”. Therefore, Ferdinand set up his own secret workshop in his parent's house so that he could experiment unhindered.

Education

He showed high aptitude for mechanical work at a very young age. He managed to attend classes at the Imperial Technical School in Reichenberg at night while helping his father in his mechanical shop by day.

Thanks to a referral, Porsche landed a job with the Bela Egger Electrical company in Vienna when he turned 18. 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 Bela Egger, Porsche first developed the electric hub motor.

Politics

Although Porsche joined the Nazi party of his own free will in 1937, and was an SS activist, he did not have any "blood on his hands."

Views

Workaholism. The need to increase productivity became an obsession for him. Conventional methods for increasing productivity include longer working hours, a faster rate of work, and new labour-saving techniques.

Interests

  • Other Interests

    racing cars

Connections

father:
Anton Porsche - plumber , tinsmith

Anton Porsche was the owner of a plumbing workshop.

wife:
Aloisia Johanna Kaes Porsche

daughter:
Louisa Porsche Piech

son:
Ferdinand Anton Ernst Porsche - Porsche executive

Ferdinand Anton Ernst Porsche, generally called "Ferry", was the son of Porsche AG founder Ferdinand Porsche, and joined his father's firm as soon as it was founded, in 1931. He attended college courses on physics and engineering, but like his father never obtained a degree. He assisted in the design of the original Volkswagen, and oversaw the prototypes' test drives. Both father and son were imprisoned by allies for their work on Hitler's war machinery, but the younger Porsche was released after only a few months. He took control of the business during the challenging post-war economy, when what had been an engineering and design firm subsisted largely as an auto repair shop. While his father was still imprisoned, Ferry Porsche designed what became the Porsche 356, the first vehicle mass-produced by the family business, with a sleek, sporty exterior over an engine based on his father's Volkswagen prototypes that became the quintessential sports car of the 1950s and early '60s.

Though Volkswagens were eventually manufactured by an independent company, Ferry Porsche entered into an arrangement with Volkswagen that provided Porsche AG with a percentage of the profit from Volkswagen sales, with Porsches distributed through Volkswagen dealerships. This provided Porsche AG with stable finances that allowed the company to flourish, and during his time at the helm of Porsche AG, the Porsche nameplate was a dominant force in auto racing, with numerous Le Mans and Formula One victories. Ferry Porsche's son, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, was principal designer for Porsche's landmark 911 model. His nephew, Ferdinand Piлch, was a long-time executive at Volkswagen Group.