With its headquarters in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, more often known as Porsche (German pronunciation: [p] (listen); see below), is a German automaker that specializes in high-performance sports cars, SUVs, and sedans. Porsche Automobil Holding SE owns a majority interest in Volkswagen AG, which owns the business. The 718 Boxster/Cayman, 911 (992), Panamera, Macan, Cayenne, and Taycan are all contemporary Porsche models.
Along with Adolf Rosenberger and Anton Pich, Ferdinand Porsche (1875–1951) created the Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH in 1931. The main headquarters were located at 24 Kronenstraße in Stuttgart's city center. The business did not initially produce any automobiles under its own name, but it did provide consulting and development services for motor vehicles. The German government gave the new business one of its first contracts: to create a Volkswagen, or a car for the people. The Volkswagen Beetle, one of the most popular automobile designs ever, was the end outcome of this. Many Beetle parts were used in the 1939 development of the Porsche 64.
The military versions of the Volkswagen Beetle, the Kübelwagen (52,000 manufactured) and Schwimmwagen (15,584 produced), were the focus of Volkswagen manufacturing during World War II. Porsche created a number of heavy tank concepts during the war but lost out to Henschel & Son in the two contracts that eventually gave rise to the Tiger I and Tiger II. However, not all this work was squandered, since the chassis Porsche created for the Tiger I was utilized as the foundation for the Elefant tank destroyer. In the latter stages of the war, Porsche also created two prototypes of the Maus super-heavy tank. Fabian Müller, Ferdinand Porsche's biographer, said that during the war, Porsche forced thousands of people to labor in their factories.
The British seized control of the Volkswagen factory at KdF-Stadt in 1945, following the end of World War II. Ivan Hirst, a British Army major, was given control of the facility after Ferdinand lost his position as Volkswagen's board of management chairman. (The Volkswagen business magazine in Wolfsburg referred to him as "The British Major who rescued Volkswagen.") Ferdinand was detained on December 15 of that year but never put on trial for war crimes. Ferry Porsche, the son of Ferdinand Porsche, opted to build his own car during his 20-month incarceration since he was unable to locate the pre-existing vehicle he intended to purchase. Before his father's release in August 1947, he had to lead the business through some of its most trying times.
In a modest sawmill in Gmünd, Austria, the initial prototypes of what would become the 356 were created. The Porsche Konstruktionen GesmbH, which Ferry and Louise formed, started producing the prototype car (with an aluminum body) after pre-orders reached a certain level. Simply because it was the first model offered by the nascent business, many people consider the 356 to be the original Porsche. Porsche hired the Zuffenhausen-based Reutter Karosserie to build the 356's steel body when the father's Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche GmbH took over manufacturing of the model in Stuttgart in 1950. The two companies had previously worked together on Volkswagen Beetle prototypes.