Clash of the Teuton Titans

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
clash of the teuton titans

Auto Motor und Sport reports that former VW Chairman and legendary ego Ferdinand Piech claims to want to replace Wendelin Wiedeking as the top dog at Porsche Holdings SE, which controls Porsche and VW. But this isn’t about Piech, claims Piech, it’s about Wiedeking. Though Wiedeking transformed Porsche into a profit-monster and is currently considered the highest-paid executive in Europe, he’s done nothing but make enemies since the Porsche/VW anschluss. He’s alienated powerful union bosses as well as VW managers by demanding higher profitability, and calling the futures of the Phaeton and the SEAT brand into question. Not to mention helping bring an end to the company-funded bordello visits and shopping sprees for union leaders. But politics matter at VW, and reports have surface that Wiedeking’s ascent to the VW oversight board planned for this month has been called into question. The Braunschweiger Zeitung even reports that GM-Europe boss Carl-Peter Forster could replace Wiedeking, in order to keep Piech and his ally VW CEO Martin Winterkorn at bay. But for the present, the paterfamilias Wolfgang Porsche has announced he’s sticking by his boy Wendelin. This will keep the Porsche/Piech family in line, but it won’t mollify the powerful VW lifers who feel threatened by their new private owners and calls for higher profits. This could get nasty.

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4 of 13 comments
  • JJ JJ on Sep 03, 2008
    Nice sarcasm to use “anschluss” to describe this (unholy) union! Last time it had any significance a small corporal heading a big organization took over a not-so-willing smaller partner. Here a big corporal heading a “small” organization takes over a not-so-willing enormous partner. And remember, in German nouns are alwas capitalized, so it should be “Anschluss”! Really? I thought most Austrians (apart from the von Trapp family, obviously) were quite happy to join Ze Zjermans at the time.
  • Andys120 Andys120 on Sep 03, 2008
    To give Piecn credit, is he who designed the 917. Yep, Dr. Ing. Piech is credited with design of the awesome Porsche 917, which dominated endurance racing to such an extent that it pushed Ferrari out of the sport, never to return. He is also credited with designing the original Audi Quattro rally cars. Of course, there may be no relationship between his engineering skills and his managment abilities.:P As forstreet versions of the 917. They would have been incredibly expensive, lacking in visibility, driver comforts etc. The 917 and it's rival was the second generation of endurance racers that were not based on street cars and even the prior generation were not well suited to street use, only a handful were ever sold for street use (think Alfa 33 Stradale or Ford GT-40 MkIII).
  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Sep 03, 2008
    Of course, there may be no relationship between his engineering skills and his managment abilities.:P Of course there's a relationship. An inverse one.
  • Hal Hal on Sep 03, 2008

    @Kendahl. The VW establishment already owns Porsche: from Wikipedia "Ferdinand Porsche's grandson, Ferdinand Piëch, was chairman and CEO of the Volkswagen Group from 1993 to 2002. Today he is chairman of the supervisory board. With 12.8 per cent of the Porsche voting shares, he also remains the second largest individual shareholder of Porsche AG after his cousin, F. A. Porsche, (13.6 per cent)."