The car business really starts rolling
In 1949 the siblings relocated Porsche Konstruktionen GesmbH from Gmünd to Alpenstraße in Salzburg. While Louise and her husband Anton Piëch were forging ahead with the development of Austrian VW imports in Salzburg, Ferry Porsche returned to Stuttgart where he laid the cornerstone for sports car production in 1950 (today's Porsche AG). The two Porsche companies in Stuttgart and Salzburg (always jointly owned by siblings Louise and Ferry), therefore, shared common roots before going on to become independent companies.
Starting as Volkswagen importer in Salzburg
In May of 1949 the import business in Salzburg finally got under way with the first 14 VW Beetles. Starting in 1950, Dr Anton Piëch formally became managing director of Porsche Konstruktionen GesmbH, which that same year optimised customer supply through the construction of a central parts warehouse. This proved an important step in company strategy of transforming itself from solely an import business into a large service provider.
Thanks to Louise Piëch's clear vision, a successful trading business was set up
In the middle of this early period of development, fate dealt two blows to the family. First, the aged professor, Ferdinand Porsche, died on 30 January 1951, and then, only one year later, he was followed by the unexpected death of Dr. Anton Piëch. Louise Piëch succeeded him in 1952 as head of the still young Salzburg company, which at the time had 71 employees and three locations - the site at Alpenstraße, the branch office in Gmünd and the site in Zell am See. The mother of four shaped Porsche Salzburg for the long term through her inimitable elan and strong leadership, guiding the growing company with great prudence and business acumen.
With the liberalisation of vehicle imports starting in the autumn of 1953, which led to rapidly soaring sales of Beetles (from 798 units in 1952 to 2,675 in 1953), the company's great boom began. Louise Piëch succeeded in establishing an Austria-wide VW distribution organisation and Porsche sports car dealerships and within just one year achieved market leadership for the first time for the Volkswagen brand (with 5,218 cars sold and a market share of 25.1%) -- a position the company has not surrendered since 1957.