Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech solidifies his and the Piech-Porsche clan’s control of Europe’s largest carmaker by placing his wife in positions of power. A year after taking a seat on Volkswagen’s supervisory board, Ursula Piech will be up for certain election to Audi’s supervisory panel at the annual shareholders’ meeting on May 16, Reuters reports.(Read More…)
Last week, Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech celebrated his 75th birthday. Yesterday, the presents arrived. Volkswagen bought the maker of Piech’s motorcycle, Ducati. Piech’s contract as chairman was extended by 5 years. And a buxom blonde received a seat on the board: Piech’s wife Ursula. (Read More…)
The Porsche-Piëch clan, ca. 1942. Grandfather Ferdinand Porsche, brother Ernst Piëch, sister Louise Piëch and mother Louise Piëch-Porsche. Ferdinand Piëch (nicknamed "Burli") is sitting in the grass on the left.
Volkswagen does not own Porsche yet. For all intents and purposes, however, Porsche is part of Volkswagen. Volkswagen executives give orders from Porsche board seats. Porsche engineers need to consult Volkswagen Group R&D departments. Insular solutions at Porsche require a written permission from Wolfsburg.
“Actually, Piech and his minion, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, could leave it at that. The integration of both enterprises has progressed so far, that is does not make a difference whether Porsche morphs into a Volkswagen division, or remains legally independent.
Will they or won’t they? That’s currently the talk amongst Germany’s auto execs. “They” are Volkswagen and Suzuki. And “will” refers to taking over Suzuki against its will. Yesterday, Der Spiegel, reported that Volkswagen is no longer barred from taking over Suzuki if Suzuki cancels its contract. Der Spiegel, of course, heard that from an interested party that telegraphs to Hamamatsu. “Be careful what you wish for.” Nonetheless, the rumor mill is at high revs. Let’s investigate. (Read More…)
Ferdi Piech is trying his hand at instigating a velvet revolution. He is dangling huge sales increases at Alfa in front of workers and customers, hoping that they string up Marchionne and ask Volkswagen to take over Alfa. Or something along these lines. Anyway, Piech said in Geneva that Volkswagen could nearly quadruple the annual sales of Alfa Romeo, if Fiat would only do the right thing and sell Volkswagen the ailing Alfa brand. (Read More…)
Uh-oh. Septuagenarian Ferdinand Piech is expressing youthful impatience with octogenarian Osamo Suzuki. Volkswagen’s Chairman of the board “is reportedly irked at the slow progress of his firm’s alliance with Suzuki,” says The Nikkei [sub]. The reason? “A year after Suzuki and Volkswagen agreed on a capital and business tie-up, the track record of their partnership remains devoid of significant accomplishment.” (Read More…)
If you are one of the richest car executives of the world, if you have “about twelve children. You never can tell for sure”, if those children are from four different women (I did not say wives), and if you are 73, you slowly start doing some estate planning. That’s exactly what Ferdinand Piech, Emperor of Volkswagen and Porsche, did. His heirs are livid. (Read More…)
The NRA, the Pope, Porsche and Piech, all eyes were on the Supreme Court for the last few days: Gun owners watched the Chicago case (right to arm bears upheld.) Accountants and CPAs monitored the treatment of their favorite boondoggle, a.k.a. Sarbanes-Oxley (upheld.) Rome said “oh my God” when they heard that a lawsuit that accuses the Vatican of conspiring with U.S. church officials to cover up sex abuse could proceed. Meanwhile, Germany’s attention, from Zuffenhausen to Wolfsburg, was fixated on Morrison v. National Australia Bank, No. 08-1191. The Supreme Court seriously frustrated attemps by overseas investors who want to drag non-American companies into American courts. Champagne corks popped at Volkswagen and Porsche. The Guardian: “America’s supreme court has told prospective European claimants to take their claims back to Europe.” So what does that have to do with Porsche? (Read More…)
Germany’s Handelsblatt received rare access to the usually secretive Porsche patriarch Piech. The Chairman of the Volkswagen Supervisory Board has big plans for his family’s company once Porsche has been assimilated. Here is an excerpt from his list of Porsche Plans: (Read More…)
The Guardian reports that in the first 9 months of 2009, Volkswagen/Porsche made 4.4 million cars whereas Toyota made 4 million. Naturally, the majority of VW’s growth has come from the area which is growing even faster than VW, China. But the lads from the Middle Kingdom weren’t the only modes of growth for Volkswagen. The Wolfsburg warriors were also beneficiaries of European stimulus packages (A.K.A: Cash for Clunkers) where Volkswagen have large market share (Germany, UK, etc). Charity really does begin at home! (Read More…)