The move to Zuffenhausen
The Porsche success story began in Stuttgart in 1930, with the company headquarters being relocated to the suburb of Zuffenhausen in 1938.
When Ferdinand Porsche went into business for himself in Stuttgart in 1930, he had long been a renowned car designer. His career had already included successful spells as technical director at Austro-Daimler in Wiener Neustadt, head of the engineering office and member of the board at Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in Stuttgart and chief designer at Steyr in Upper Austria. Ready to enter a new phase in his professional life, Ferdinand Porsche opened his own engineering office at Kronenstrasse 24 in the centre of Stuttgart on 1 December 1930.
His talents had already been recognised in the form of two honorary doctorates, awarded by the Universities of Applied Science in Vienna and Stuttgart respectively. Ferdinand Porsche wasted no time in immortalising these honours in the name of his new company, which was entered into the commercial register on Saturday 25 April 1931 under the name ‘Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche G.m.b.H., Konstruktionen und Beratung für Motoren und Fahrzeuge’. This marked the birth of Porsche as a company – and it has maintained its headquarters in Stuttgart ever since. However, Ferdinand Porsche and his employees only remained in the centre of the Württemberg capital for a total of six years. With more and more orders being received from companies such as Wanderer, Zündapp and Auto Union, the Kronenstrasse offices had reached the limits of their capacity.
The company changed its legal form from a ‘GmbH’ (limited company) to a ‘KG’ (limited partnership) on 14 December 1937, after which Ferdinand Porsche and 176 employees moved to Zuffenhausen on 25 June 1938. This suburb, which had been incorporated into the city of Stuttgart in 1931, offered the space the company needed. Located between Spitalwaldstrasse (now called Otto-Dürr-Strasse) and Schwieberdinger Strasse, the new site became the headquarters of Porsche and the heart of the company’s operations.
Following the move to Zuffenhausen, the company experienced rapid growth until the turning point of summer 1944. In the face of increasing Allied air raids, Porsche took the decision to relocate its management, its design department and parts of its production to the Austrian town of Gmünd – but only on a temporary basis.