By on May 23, 2017

Matthias Müller, Image: Volkswagen AG/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

Volkswagen has attempted to portray itself as a kinder and more responsible automaker in the wake of its emissions cheating scandal. However, CEO Matthias Müller says convincing middle management to change has proven exceptionally difficult. VW has been pushing to become — or at least seem like — a more transparent company that has decentralized its rigid management hierarchy.

“There are definitely people who are longing for the old centralistic leadership,” Müller stated during a meeting with business representatives on Monday. “I don’t know whether you can imagine how difficult it is to change their mindset.”

It’s been 20 months since the diesel emissions scandal entered the news cycle and Müller took over as chief executive. Throughout that time, VW’s top executives have tossed mid-level employees under the bus on numerous occasions. While there is little reason to doubt some might have trouble adjusting to a new corporate climate, it would be nice to hear top brass taking any semblance of responsibility once in a while — even on something minor like this.  (Read More…)

By on March 17, 2017

piech

One of the preeminent figures within the European automotive industry is looking to get out of the family business. The former paterfamilias of Volkswagen AG, Ferdinand Piech, is looking to dump his stake of Porsche Automobil Holding SE and sever his remaining ties to VW. Piech’s shares would remain within the Porsche-Piech family — allowing them to keep control of Volkswagen Group — but Ferdinand would be out of the game as a majority stakeholder.

Piech has been at odds with his relatives after suggesting that Wolfgang Porsche and several other VW supervisory board members had been aware of Volkswagen’s emissions cheating much earlier than they claimed. Sources close to the family, whose members are apparently outraged, have stated that the Porsche-Piech gang sought to replace him at the table of Porsche Holdings ever since.  (Read More…)

By on March 12, 2017

VW logo

Former chairman of Volkswagen’s supervisory board Ferdinand Piech may soon be losing his seat on the Porsche SE board as well. While the Porsche and Piech families have combined their VW holdings in Porsche SE, its shareholders are voting on the future makeup of the company’s supervisory board at its annual meeting on May 30. However, a complete list of of candidates has to be decided upon by mid-April and Piech’s name seems to be absent from the early draft.

Wolfgang Porsche and Ferdinand’s brother Hans Michel Piech are both on the list of candidates, but Ferdinand Piech is not, according to the German weekly Bild am Sonntag, citing a person close to the matter. They hypothesized that the decision has more than just a little to do with Piech’s recent behavior regarding the VW emissions probe. (Read More…)

By on February 8, 2017

tdiengine

Ferdinand Piëch, former chairman of Volkswagen and grandson of Beetle creator Ferdinand Porsche, is in hot water with his former company.

The ex-chairman resigned in April 2015 — five months before the diesel emissions scandal broke — after the company’s steering committee put his future to a vote. Piëch lost after his rival, then-CEO Martin Winterkorn, saw VW management rally to his side.

A suspiciously hostile divide existed between both men at the time, and recent comments by Piëch may explain why the two doomed executives became such bitter enemies. To say that VW’s supervisory board isn’t happy with his comments would be an understatement. (Read More…)

By on August 30, 2016

Winterkorn, Piech, Piech - Picture courtesy Volkswagen

Former Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piëch resigned his position a month after questioning and failing to get answers from ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn about the company’s defeat devices, an internal probe revealed.

The finding from the investigation by U.S. law firm Jones Day was published in the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Bloomberg reports, shedding light on the power struggle that preceded the diesel emissions scandal. (Read More…)

By on November 5, 2015

Ferdinand-Piech

Ferdinand Piëch, the man who ruled Volkswagen like the king of a Teutonic fiefdom, was likely the cause of the diesel scandal that’s erased billions of dollars of value from Volkswagen as it looks down the barrel of a gun loaded with further billions of dollars worth of recall work, fines and law suits.

Or, at least, that’s the claim made by Bob Lutz.

Former auto industry executive Lutz called Piëch’s leadership style “a reign of terror” before saying “The guy was absolutely brutal,” in his latest piece for Road & Track.

Tell us what you really think, Bob.

(Read More…)

By on September 5, 2015

Ferdinand-Piech

Reports out of Germany indicate that ousted chairman and current majority owner of Volkswagen’s parent group, Ferdinand Piech, may have tampered with the board nomination to replace him.

Piech may have prevented current VW CEO Martin Winterkorn from becoming chairman after the two’s public feud ultimately resulted with Piech’s abrupt resignation in April, Reuters reported.

If true, the backroom dealings would indicate that while Piech may not be overseeing VW anymore, he still wields significant influence on its operations and leadership.

(Read More…)

By on September 3, 2015

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

Porsche Automobil Holding SE announced Thursday that it would propose its CFO Hans Dieter Poetsch to succeed Berthold Huber as chairman of Volkswagen’s supervisory board. The proposal was supported by Volkswagen AG.

Huber was appointed interim chairman for the German automotive giant after Ferdinand Piech was ousted in a dustup among leadership.

The announcement comes only a few days after Volkswagen said it extended its contract with its current CEO, Martin Winterkorn, for two more years and effectively ending his bid to replace Piech. Winterkorn and Piech publicly feuded over VW’s direction, eventually leading to Piech’s surprise resignation as chairman in April.

As a member of the board of majority shareholder in VW’s parent company, Porsche SE, Piech voted alongside the rest of the board unanimously to approve Poetsch as proposed chairman.

(Read More…)

By on September 2, 2015

Martin Winterkorn in Shanghai - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Volkswagen will extend its contract with CEO Martin Winterkorn through 2018, Automotive News is reporting, but that two-year deal may make him too old to succeed the man he ousted, Ferdinand Piech, who left the company last year after clashing with Winterkorn. (Read More…)

By on July 13, 2015

Ferdinand-Piech

The search to replace former Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech may stretch into next year, Reuters is reporting.

Piech left Volkswagen in April after a showdown with Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn, who is still a candidate for the top position. Piech led VW for more than two decades and is the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche.

Interim chairman Berthold Huber is expected to remain in the position at least until the end of 2015.

(Read More…)

By on May 4, 2015

Volkswagen Group Logo TTAC Style

A week after Volkswagen Group chairman Ferdinand Piëch quit his post, the company’s supervisory board will meet Monday to discuss finding a replacement.
(Read More…)

By on April 30, 2015

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

Ferdinand Piëch isn’t Volkswagen’s chairman anymore, but he doesn’t want a couple of his relatives to replace him and his wife on the board, either.

(Read More…)

By on April 25, 2015

"It wasn't Domino's. Someone delivered Wiedekings head." Piech and Winterkorn.  Picture courtesy handelsblatt.de

While Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn wears bruises from the conflict, Ferdinand Piëch has paid the ultimate of price and resigned his chairmanship with immediate effect.

(Read More…)

By on April 23, 2015

2013 Volkswagen Up

While the dust-up between chairman Ferdinand Piëch and CEO Martin Winterkorn lingers on, Volkswagen looks to take silver on the global sales podium in 2015.

(Read More…)

By on April 22, 2015

Winterkorn, Piech, Piech - Picture courtesy Volkswagen

VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn gained a few key supporters in the leadership conflict between he and chairman Ferdinand Piëch.

(Read More…)

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