“President Obama is proud of his bailout of General Motors. That’s good, because, if he wins a second term, he is probably going to have to bail GM out again.” Sounds like our august founder, Robert Farago, sounding off about American Leyland the New GM. Nope, it’s Forbes this time, and they come to bury the General, not to praise him.
Volkswagen’s CEO warned its shareholders of a “very demanding year,” what with the European debt crisis depressing auto markets and growth in growth markets slowing. What is growing is risks, said Winterkorn at VW’s annual general meeting. Oddly enough, it is Volkswagen’s competitors who should be very worried. (Read More…)
Hyundai has a new and extremely successful spokesman. He is well-known, he can speak about cars with more authority than a football player. Best of all: He works pro bono. It is Volkswagen’s CEO Martin Winterkorn. With a low-cost video, Winterkorn catapulted Hyundai’s image to formerly unknown heights.
At the Frankfurt Auto Show, when all the festivities and pageantry are over, it is customary to stroll through the booths, stands and halls of the competition to find out what they have. The real research is done by faceless drones that pose as journalists or customers. The drones must have brought back alarming intell to Halle 3, where Volkswagen holds court: “Ach du mein Lieber, Hyundai fielded a fearsome adversary to the Golf with the new i30.”
The whole white-haired Volkswagen board dropped their coffee cups and invaded the Hyundai display, led by Prof. Dr. Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen. Winterkorn himself sat behind the wheel of the i30. The former head of Quality Assurance was shocked: (Read More…)
In a cautious climbdown from Volkswagen’s previous anti-electric stance, Volkswagen’s CEO Martin Winternkorn said electric cars might not be the work of the antichrist after all. The statements were made at the 32nd Vienna Motor Symposium. After announcing that the Volkswagen Group will be producing plug-in hybrid in 2013/14 (didn’t they previously say it was 2012?), Winterkorn said: (Read More…)
Volkswagen extended Martin Winterkorn’s CEO contract for another five years, not that anyone doubted that they would do it. The now 63 year old Winterkorn has job security through 2016. In 2016, he’ll be 68, and if Volkswagen hasn’t caught up with Toyota by then, that will be the perfect time to go into retirement. After all, surpassing Toyota is scheduled for 2018. Or maybe not … (Read More…)
Approximately two weeks ago, I reported how Volkswagen CEO, Martin Winterkorn, confirmed that Porsche was going to bring us a new, smaller SUV. A sort of younger brother to the Cayenne called the “Cajun”. Well, it appears that the “Cajun” and few other things aren’t so clear cut. Either that or someone doesn’t value their career at Volkswagen. Or rather Porsche. (Read More…)
Now that Volkswagen is the de facto owner of Porsche, after Porsche’s audacious bid to take over Wolfsburg ended in utter defeat, one has to ask oneself: “Is Volkswagen going to embarrass Porsche any further?” The answer appears to be “yes”. Let me explain… (Read More…)
Recently, I’ve been watching a TV show called “Man Vs Food”. After watching the first season, I’ve learned 2 things: 1. There’s way too much food in the United States and 2. Getting greedy always causes problems. Setting a highly ambitious target only to figure out you’ve set the bar too high is embarrassing. But if you have a big enough stomach or a big enough ego, you can succeed. I suspect Martin Winterkorn has the latter. (Read More…)
Two news items are unnerving Japan today: The ruling DPJ party seems to be heading towards a solid defeat at the upper house elections. And Volkswagen has lost all respect for the Japanese competition. The enemy Volkswagen now fears most is – dou shiyou – (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…)
Management changes at Porsche. CEO Macht will be disempowered, or “entmachtet”, as the Germans say. „It becomes clear that Winterkorn will change out the top management at Porsche and will replace it step by step with confidantes from his inner circle,” writes Automobilwoche [sub]. (Read More…)
VW CEO Martin Winterkorn is a superstitious man. He doesn’t want to add a 13th brand to his (or rather Piech’s) large collection. (Coincidentally, 12 is the number of Piech’s children. More or less. Nobody is quite sure,) “There are some who knock on our door. Some really want to come under our roof as they see we’re on a good path strategically. But we are satisfied with the current line-up,” Winterkorn said to Wirtschaftswoche. Specifically questioned about Volvo or (gasp) Daimler, Winterkorn answered: „There are many who would like to snuggle in VW’s cozy bed. Thank you, not interested.” Instead, he’s re-thinking the line-up of his new acquisitions: “I could imagine a smaller Cayenne derivative. Or a Porsche below the Boxster. This is under discussion.” (Read More…)