Porsche is a German manufacturer of high-performance sports cars and sport utility vehicles. The used Porsche lineup includes the Porsche Boxster, Porsche Cayman, Porsche 911, Porsche Panamera, and the Porsche Cayenne.
Ferdinand Porsche was born in 1875 and was destined to assist his father in the plumbing business. Fortunately for automobile lovers the world over, the plumber's life didn't last long for the younger Porsche. Instead, Porsche would start introducing advanced cars as early as 1900. Porsche's first was the Lohner-Porsche electric car as presented at the 1900 World Fair in Paris. In the same year, Porsche worked on an all-wheel-drive racer, and even a gasoline/electric hybrid vehicle. The Porsche company claims Porsche's hybrid design was a world first, however at the time of this writing Porsche offers no hybrid vehicles.
By age 31, Porsche would become the technical director of Austro-Diamler, where he went on to build (and drive) race-winning cars. His success led him to open an independent engineering and consultation business in 1931. Porsche's company worked for companies such as NSU, Wanderer, Zundapp and Auto Union.
With no lack of success already attributed to Porsche, his company would receive the official order for the German Volkswagen in 1934 and firmly cement Porsche's place in history as the initial designer of the people's car, better known as the vehicle that would become the Volkswagen Beetle. The Porsche company would survive World War II by moving offices to the Austrian province of Carinthia, but like all other manufacturers in German, did not do so unscathed. The war decimated Germany's manufacturing facilities, so it was not until 1948 that the first car to bear the Porsche name was unveiled. The car was the iconic Porsche 356, which owes at least some of its styling impetus to the Volkswagen Porsche had pioneered years earlier.
Ferdinand Porsche died in 1951 at the age of 75, but his company continued to dominate motorsports and sports car markets the world over. Such legendary cars as the Porsche 550 Spyder, Porsche 356 B, and the ubiquitous Porsche 911 would follow in the decade and a half after Porsche's death. The 911 was launched in 1964 (after being introduced in 1963 as the 901) and became a staple for Porsche both in the racing and sales arenas.
Over the years there have been very few missteps in Porsche's path. When Porsche introduced cars such as the Porsche 914, Porsche 924, Porsche 944, and the Porsche Boxster, purists howled their disapproval. Each time Porsche proved them wrong and ended up with a sales success on its hands. This tradition of innovation and experimentation continues strong even in recent times. In 2002 Porsche introduced a mid-size luxury sport utility vehicle with the Porsche Cayenne. The SUV hit US shores in 2003 and became an immediate sales success, despite warnings from Porsche enthusiasts who dreaded the idea of their favored automaker building a sport utility vehicle. Now the Cayenne makes for a great used vehicle purchase.
Contrary to popular belief here in the US, the proper way to pronounce the Porsche name is with a soft "ah" sound on the end of the name. When spoken, the word Porsche sounds like "Porsch-ah." In the US, buyers tend to omit the soft "ah" sound and pronounce the name as "Porsch" with a hard sound at the end of the word. Listen to any official Porsche video and you will hear the proper pronunciation.