Thursday, 23 February 2012

The VW-Porsche legacy

The first thing we had to do was to take out Porsche Representative Agreement and register it with The Authorities in Ministry of Commerce. It was law to register any such agreement to avoid any disputes and this allowed the Ministry to have certified copies of all such business agreement between the local agents and their respective manufacturing organisations.
            This turned out to be a laborious process and so we had the German consulate in Bahrain endorse it first and then it was returned to Porsche AG for them to have it stamped by the Bahraini Embassy in Germany and then it was returned to us in Bahrain for formal submission.
When Bob and I took the document in to register it, the Ministry’s staff told us that Porsche was already registered with Bebehani Brothers, the VW-Audi agent. I explained that Porsche AG was a separate company from both VW and Audi but they would not listen to us. I got Sheikh Rashid to come along for the next meeting and he managed to get the official there to bring us a copy of the Bebehani registered agreement to view. Sure enough it had Porsche on it but it was the dealership for “VW-Porsche Company” that was the joint venture company set-up to distribute the VW-Porsche 914 in the early 1970’s. I explained that this company no longer existed and that it was nothing to do with Porsche AG, which was a completely separate manufacturer. However, they still refused to register us and I eventually got Philip Kaes to write us a letter confirming this situation and he also came along to the Ministry on his next visit to confirm matters. Shortly after, we were registered as the official agents for Porsche in Bahrain.
I recall that John Aldington had a similar although very different experience in the early 1970’s when VW in the UK had made a play to take over Porsche in Great Britain once the new VW-Porsche Company was incorporated, although our problem was small in comparison. It just shows how the legacy of the ill-fated VW-Porsche company came back to haunt us all these years later.

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