Post by VWCA_Adman on Sept 25, 2019 8:39:15 GMT -6
Ferdinand Piech, the VW Group’s former demanding chairman and CEO, who turned VW into one of the world’s largest automakers has died. He as 82. Reports say he died Sunday August 25 in Bavaria Germany.
Grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, who founded the eponymous sports-car brand, Piech became VW’s CEO 1993. He commenced a shift in VW’s management, labor costs and product quality. He endorsed building the New Beetle.
Piech also built a VW empire by acquiring Porsche (an amazing reversal of fortune for the Porsche side of the family), Bentley, Lamborghini, Seat and Skoda brands. His tenure at Audi led to technical innovation and the brand’s move upmarket to rival BMW and Mercedes. He was a stickler for quality car construction. For instance, he pushed for tightly fitted doors, panels and lids. Many say he had a knack for spinning off unique car models from a single platform. He also backed the ill-fated expensive VW Phaeton.
Piech began his career at Porsche where as chief engineer he developed the Le Mans winning Porsche 917. After the Porsche-Piech clan banned family members from operational roles at Porsche, Piech moved to Audi in 1972 as a special products engineer. He guided development of Audi’s five-cylinder engine, Quattro AWD cars and aluminum-bodied flagship sedans.
Piech’s technical acumen didn’t extend to smooth people skills. He fired several Audi CEOs and thwarted Bernd Pischetsrieder’s rise as a VW CEO. He even tried to remove VW CEO Martin Winterkorn. Many say Piech’s management style likely led to engineers cheating on diesel emissions in order to meet Piech’s tight deadlines.