VW-Porsche: Why make such a drama out of building cars?

Wendelin Wiedeking and his wife, Ruth, headed off to Germany's Black Forest last weekend determined to leave history in the rear-view mirror of their blue Porsche Panamera.

What an amazing legacy Wiedeking left behind.

What another entertaining drama for the ever-embattled German auto industry.

If suppliers and automakers aren't immersed in bribery scandals, then they are fighting to acquire each other.

Winners are lauded as heroes. Losers are swept to the curbside of German history.

But does any of it ultimately need to happen?

The formation of a new alliance between Volkswagen and Porsche not only cost Wiedeking his job -- an unfortunate epitaph in nearly a 20-year career full of achievements -- it leaves as many questions as it answers.

What will the new VW-Porsche look like? Will Porsche have independence in the new alliance? Is VW AG CEO Martin Winterkorn the ultimate decision-maker as VW aims for global dominance?

Whatever the answers, this much is clear: The Germans build great cars, but they construct a lot of drama in the process.

Two years ago, in a different saga, a political battle cost Bernd Pischetsrieder his job as VW CEO. He was gaining too much control over the future of the Scania and MAN trucking operations. He had to go.

Similarly, former VW brand boss Wolfgang Bernhard became embroiled in a power struggle over the brand's future that ultimately led to his departure.

Opel has been going back and forth with the German government over its own destiny.

And now the politics of power and control has taken Wiedeking out of the mix.

What for? We're not sure.

Control? Power? The will to win?

As the dust settle on the VW-Porsche alliance, four years of infighting won't lead to major changes.

The powerful IG Metall union still holds half of the power on VWs supervisory board. The German state of Lower Saxony still has a significant voice in all VW decisions. And VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech still needs the support all of the above to get his way.

So, ultimately, politics and control dominate in Germany -- the way it did last week when Wiedeking capitulated and resigned. He lost. Someone won.

And the German auto world rolled on.

"It's high time there is some peace," said one VW insider. "The strife with Porsche has cost a lot of time, energy and nerves."

My question: Why?

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