One Million 911 Models Later: A Look at Porsche's History for Pros with Careers in the Auto Industry
Porsche has a lengthy and interesting history. Since the company’s launch in 1948, it quickly rose to the top as a leading manufacturer of race and sports cars. To this day, Porsche’s vehicles remain true to the company’s original brand, carefully crafted by Ferdinand Porsche and his son Ferry. With the recent milestone of one million 911s rolling off the production line, it’s the perfect time to take a look back at Porsche’s history.
If you have a passion for cars, read on to learn more about the history of Porsche.
The Beginning: A Look at Years 1948 to 1963 for Pros with Careers in the Auto Industry
Ferdinand Porsche, born in 1875, would go on to leave quite the legacy in the automotive industry. At just 25 years old, he designed the world’s first hybrid electric and gasoline vehicle, and over the course of his career, he worked with iconic brands like Mercedes and Volkswagen.
It wasn’t until 1948 that Ferdinand’s company, Porsche, was launched as a car manufacturer. Porsche was a family affair, and Ferdinand’s son, Ferry, built and designed the company’s very first sports car, the 356. In 1949, a total of 52 units were built by hand, and in 1950, 369 units were produced.
After a long and prosperous career, Ferdinand passed away in 1951, leaving his son to play a pivotal role in the company’s development. In 1954, Porsche released a new Speedster model designed to be an affordable version of the 356. And by 1958, 10,000 units of the 356 model were built.
The Introduction of the 911: Porsche’s Iconic Developments from 1964 to 1989
The year of 1964 was a turning point for Porsche. While the company had already seen quick success, the launch of the Porsche 911 put the company on a whole new level. The vehicle, priced at $5,500 USD (about $42,000 by today’s standards), was quick to gain enormous amounts popularity, and is still to this day Porsche’s most popular vehicle. From 1966 to 1970, Porsche added new features to the 911 that may be recognizable to you after your mechanic certification program, like a removable roof panel and fuel injection system.
By 1972, Porsche opened a Research and Development Center in Germany, and Ferry became the chairman of the supervisory board. Capitalizing on the success of the 911, Porsche released a 911 Turbo supercar in North America. And by 1977, Porsche had produced over 300,000 vehicles. Garnering the attention of investors with its impressive numbers, the company went public in 1984. However, 50 per cent of the stock was kept within the family.
A New Millennium on the Horizon: Years 1990 to 2000 for Pros with Careers in the Auto Industry
In 1990, Porsche debuted to the world the all-wheel drive 911 Carrera 4 and rear-wheel drive 911 Carrera 2. In 1993, Porsche launched the concept vehicle for a yet-to-be-released sports car called the Boxster. Several years later, moving into the age of modernization, Porsche put an end to its front-engine models, and by 1996 the company had officially sold one million vehicles.
As pros with careers in the auto industry might know, the Boxster would end up being released for sale in 1997, just one year before the death of Ferry Porsche, the founder’s son, in 1998. That same year, Porsche released a completely all-new, revamped model of the famous 911 for the first time in history.
Porsche in the Modern Word: 2001 to the Present Day
Since the turn of the century, Porsche has celebrated many milestones and accomplishments, especially on the race track. In 2003, Porsche released its first SUV model: the Cayenne. In 2013, the company celebrated the 911’s 50th birthday by releasing an anniversary model.
Today, Porsche mainly sells six models: the 911, Boxster, Cayman, Panamera, Cayenne, and Macan. Recently, Porsche is celebrating the production of its one millionth Porsche 911, which won the “the best premium sports car on the market” award from Car and Driver in 2015.
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