The Porsche 914 was a rather unusual car for more than one reason. For example, it was born of a collaboration between Porsche and Volkswagen, which are not name that would come to mind at the same time for most people out there. Furthermore, the Porsche 914 can be rather controversial for some Porsche fans, so much so that said individuals might not even recognize it as a true Porsche. Based on this, it should come as no surprise to learn that there is a fair amount of information to uncover about the Porsche 914.
How Did the Porsche 914 Come Into Existence?
First and foremost, the Porsche 914 came into existence because Porsche and Volkswagen had a contract between them. In short, Volkswagen was obligated to entrust one more project to Porsche for development. Since both Porsche and Volkswagen needed a new car to replace one of their existing products in the late 1960s, the choice was made to start on what would become the Porsche 914. Said project was supposed to produce a body that could be used by both car manufacturers, which would be used to house a separate set of engine plus other internals for each of them. However, the plan that served as the impetus for the Porsche 914 had some major flaws to it.
For example, Porsche wasn’t that enthused about the project because it suspected that the release of the Porsche 914 would water down its brand, thus impairing the rest of its marketing efforts. Meanwhile, Volkswagen was concerned about putting its production facilities to use producing something that was dissimilar to the rest of its offerings. In the end, the people behind the Porsche 914 wasn’t able to overcome these issues but decided to go ahead with it anyways, meaning that the car wasn’t exactly launched under the best of circumstances.
What Was the Response to the Porsche 914?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this contributed to the Porsche 914’s image problem in its native Germany, which resulted in lowered sales. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that the Porsche 914’s image problem wasn’t helped by the fact that its appearance was very distinct from that of its predecessors. Whereas previous Porsche cars had been well-known for a teardrop shape, the Porsche 914 was squatter and more rectangular-looking. As a result, while there were certainly people who liked it in spite of that fact, it strengthened the impression that the Porsche 914 wasn’t a true Porsche, thus hindering its sales over the course of its existence.
However, it is interesting to note that the Porsche 914 met with a much better reception in the United States, though it is important to note that both versions of the car were marketed in that particular country as Porsche cars rather than anything else. Regardless, the cheaper, lower-performance version of the car called the Porsche 914 managed to sell close to 120,000 units in the United States during the period of time starting in 1969 and coming to a close in 1976. In contrast, the more expensive, higher-performance version of the car called the Porsche 914/6 managed to sell no more than 3300 units. Something that might be attributable to the fact that its more expensive nature put it at around the same price as Porsche’s flagship Porsche 911T, meaning that it lost out to internal competition.
A Complicated Influential Factor
On the whole, the Porsche 914 isn’t exactly one of the cars that Porsche remembers with fondness. As a result, its influence on its car manufacturer is rather complicated in spite of its success in the United States. Still, products don’t need to be successful by the reckoning of businesses for them to have an influential role on further decision-making. After all, businesses are guided by their successes as much as their failures, which is something that is true for all businesses in all business sectors.
As for the consumers, well, suffice to say that there are actually a fair number of people who recall the Porsche 914 with some fondness. In part, this is because they remember the car from the 1970s, meaning that the power of nostalgia has weighed the scales in favor of the Porsche 914 in their recollection. However, it should be noted that there are plenty of people who like the Porsche 914 because of its particular characteristics, which should come as no surprise considering its sales in the U.S. market.