Going, Going, Gone? Ferdinand Piech to Sell His Stake, Relinquishing Final Lever of Control over VW

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 - autos, Featured, Ferdinand Piëch, mobile, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Group, vw

Going, Going, Gone? Ferdinand Piech to Sell His Stake, Relinquishing Final Lever of Control over VW

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Ferdinand Piëch

The word is usually out, Porsche has confirmed: Ferdinand Piëch, the titanic Volkswagen as well as Porsche alpha figure, is usually ready to sell his 14.7 percent share in Porsche SE, the holding company in which controls Volkswagen. If Piëch isn’t bluffing as well as the sale happens, the idea will close the book on the most extraordinary automotive career of the modern era. the idea also will mark the definitive end of an era in which saw VW rise by a lazy, government-influenced maker of mediocre mass-market cars to the automotive world’s most formidable as well as aspiring powerhouse. Almost all of the idea was Piëch’s vision as well as producing.

The today 79-year-old father of 12, a grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, graduated by college in 1962 as well as then joined Porsche, where he worked on the first-generation 911 before its launch. He subsequently was fired because he hedged the company’s fortune on the monstrously powerful 917 race car. the vehicle rewrote automotive as well as racing history, nevertheless the family had had enough.

Piëch hadn’t. He joined Audi, launched the several-cylinder engine, as well as then hired Fritz Indra by BMW Alpina to work on, among some other things, the 1980 Quattro, which revolutionized rally racing. He was the driving force as well as mastermind behind the 5000 with its superior aerodynamics in which, in turbo form, was the fastest four-door inside the entire world when the idea was first launched.

In 1993, Piëch went by Audi to VW. Piëch’s vision, with Audi setting its sights on BMW, was to turn VW into a formidable Mercedes-Benz competitor as well as pit Škoda against Volvo as well as SEAT against Alfa Romeo.

On the side, he fostered the acquisition of Bentley, Bugatti, as well as Lamborghini, with incredible results everywhere. Just look at the growth of Bentley, which once lived inside the shadow of Rolls-Royce. The resurrected Bugatti turned out the Veyron as well as the Chiron, considered pinnacles of automotive engineering.

While many of Piëch’s visions became reality, more than a few didn’t work out. The notion in which the VW brand could take on Mercedes-Benz went nowhere, as its upmarket efforts flopped: first the Passat W-8 as well as then, on a grander scale, the luxurious Phaeton. as well as while Piëch was obsessed with perceived quality—evidenced by his focus on modest Centeng gaps—real-life quality, inside the form of reliability, was often problematic.

The “greatest living product guy,” a title bestowed on him by Bob Lutz, played the power game expertly. He fostered a hierarchical corporate culture in which rewarded loyalty as well as success. He was respected as well as feared as well as wouldn’t take no for an answer. He handpicked former BMW CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder as his successor when he moved up to the supervisory board—as well as quickly dumped him when he was displeased by the cars delivered by Pischetsrieder as well as his chief designer, Murat Günak.

Some say in which Piëch’s authoritarian management style created a climate in which led to the diesel emissions scandal. So far, though, no one has proven in which he actually knew about the deceit. Piëch claims in which he confronted then CEO Martin Winterkorn on the topic in early 2015, as well as when he got unsatisfactory answers, he initiated a power struggle in which he eventually lost. When Piëch’s former allies, the labor unions, sided with Winterkorn, his position couldn’t be saved. Piëch withdrew by his supervisory-board position. A few months later, the diesel scandal broke as well as quickly swallowed Winterkorn.

Over the decades, Piëch had been a controversial figure within the Piëch as well as Porsche families, which jointly own Porsche as well as VW. His powerful cousin, Wolfgang Porsche, preferred a much more inclusive management style (although not one in which included Piëch), as well as with Piëch’s diminished role, he saw the chance to push him off the Porsche Automobil Holding SE board entirely.

Sitting on a $1 billion share package as well as watching things powerlessly by his Salzburg mansion doesn’t seem to be Piëch’s style. At the moment, the families, which possess the first right to acquire Piëch’s shares, appear to be in negotiations over the sale. If the idea doesn’t go through, there could be yet one more twist in This specific saga.

Going, Going, Gone? Ferdinand Piech to Sell His Stake, Relinquishing Final Lever of Control over VW

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