This made Peter W. Schultz to save and return the Porsche 911 to the top
Perhaps the name Peter W. Schutz It does not sound too. It was President and CEO of Porsche from 1981 to 1987, certainly more difficult year for the company that in 1980 had big losses and sailing rudderless into a worse situation if it fits in which The Porsche 911 was destined to disappear.
Peter W. Schutz died this week at age 87. He was asked to give a course change to the strategy of the company, saving the iconic 911, developing other product lines such as the transaxle and achieving success in competition. For all that, he deserves review of his life.
Peter W. Schutz Born in Berlin (Germany) on April 30, 1930. The rise of Nazism took his family to flee their homeland, and the first destination was Cuba, where they settled in Havana in 1937.
On the Caribbean island were only two years since in 1939 they left the United States, where they settled in Chicago (Illinois). Schutz grew up there and there studied his career Mechanical engineer.
Shortly after graduating, he began working in Caterpillar, where he spent 15 years. Cummins Engine from there to where it was 11 years, of which eight he served as vice president of sales for the US and Canada. Their results were fantastic, led companies to profitability levels never achieved.
In the meantime, Porsche was going through the worst time in its history. 1980 was a fatal for the company, which came to shed millions in losses year. The reasons were many, but one of the heaviest was the little commercial success in the United States new 924 and 928 models.
Besides the fact that 911, still sold relatively well was given, they gave countless mechanical problems, which he was undermining the reputation of Porsche worldwide. Disaster, come on.
Porsche CEO at the time was Ernst Fuhrmann, who knew his days were numbered. When they started looking substitute, was the Ferry Porsche himself in person who asked Schutz who applied for the post. Only 12 were candidates, and he was elected.
A successful change immediate course
The arrival of Peter W. Schutz the company was an immediate salutary lesson. Neither he nor the dealer network understand why the Porsche 911 cars were so expensive and were giving mechanical problems so often.
He asked what was the main reason for these mechanical failures, and said They were due to problems in the camshafts. The problem was identified, but there was no intention to fix it.
Why? Because in the Porsche product line, 911 life was destined to come to an end in 1981 in favor of the 928 and 944, so it made no sense to invest efforts and resources to remedy a problem that his days were numbered.
The Porsche 911 should continue to be manufactured
Schutz also found that those plans to end production of the 911 were undermining the morale of the engineers, who saw it as their flagship product it crashed. So just three weeks after entering office, he reviewed the decision to cease production of the Porsche 911.
It was in the office of Helmuth Bott, Chief Engineer, where Schutz was drawn on a blackboard the timeline of 928, 944 and 911. The latter had marked the end in December 1981. They say then Schutz He took the pen and reached 911 line outside the board itself, even the wall and asking Bott to take him out.
In parallel He solved the problems of the camshafts and satisfaction of customers and dealers around the world began to recover. People were willing to pay big bucks for a 911, but for a 911 without mechanical problems.
That turn at the helm of the company made it all be started to be more optimistic Porsche. The numbers began to leave, so Schutz also focused on boosting the 911 Cabrio range and the launch of the 944 Turbo, 944 S and 944 S2.In the 24 Hours of Le Mans 1981 with Ferry Porsche
Faced with what they usually do CEOs who come to companies in difficult financial situation, Schutz did not cut investment in Motorsport. Should be aware that every time a Porsche in a race won during the weekend, sales of their cars grew on Monday.
Why he supported the Porsche Motorsport division. They had plenado participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the 924, but the chances of winning with that model were nil. Schutz once again changed the plans, by telling them or going to the race to win, or better not to participate.
Then they decided to literally take three 936 Porsche Museum, put them were developing engines for Indy Car American and exit the French race. A wise decision since Porsche won that year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In 1982 Porsche also dominated Le Mans with the 956, the 953 AWD won the Paris-Dakar 1984 and later the 959 in 1986. Motorsport successes helped the brand image worldwide be strengthened considerably.
In parallel to the racing successes, product line going forward. He 911 3.2 Third Generation She was born under the baton of Schutz, and was an unprecedented success.
So much so, that sales of Porsche then experienced unparalleled growth. While in 1981 approximately 28,000 Porsche sold worldwide in 1986 the figure reached 53,000 units. Five years of records, historical figures and a recovery that led Porsche not disappear.
Only a change of cycle as experienced in 1987, in which United States suffered one of its biggest financial crisis in history with black Monday, coinciding with the exchange rates increased by the Porsche too expensive for the reality that existed at that time were able to knock Schutz.
Porsche sales in the US fell to less than half, which was the second most important market for the company, it was something insurmountable. Schutz left the company in 1988 and retired with his wife to Florida. The rest of his days until his death last October 29 at the age of 87, he spent it enjoying his family, giving motivational lectures and being recognized in the circles of fans of Porsche as what it was: El Salvador's Porsche 911 and the Porsche brand.
D.E.P. Peter W. Schutz.