Piech Wants A "Demure" Wiedeking

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
piech wants a demure wiedeking

Today, the supervisory board of Porsche has a sit-down in their super-secret R&D center in Weissach near Stuttgart. On the agenda: “How do we get out of this mess?” The meeting might not be very constructive. The board is heavy with members of both sides of the feuding Porsche and Piech clan. Ferdinand Piech himself will be there, along with Uwe Hück, head of the Porsche workers council. Last week, the former professional Thai boxer Hück had threatened he would report Piech to the authorities, on grounds of yet to be specified violations of securities laws. Only fools make idle threats to Piech.

Should it become physical, the diminutive Piech will lose. In a more civilized fight of words, Piech always wins. The supervisory board will be asked to increase the capital by €5b. The Piech and Porsche sides will try to settle their differences. And Ferdinand Piech will work on his plan: Takeover of Porsche by Volkswagen. Not the other way round. And to humiliate bad boy Wiedeking …

In the meantime, all official negotiations between Porsche and Volkswagen have come to a grinding halt. A meeting scheduled for today has been canceled; that piece of earth shattering news made headlines from Reuters to Bloomberg, to the Lubbock Avalanche Journal. VW says the discussions had been halted “for an indefinite time” due to “a lack of a constructive atmosphere.” Porsche sees it different, Der Spiegel writes: According to Porsche, just the Monday meeting had been rescheduled. “The negotiations continue. Follow-up meetings have been arranged.”

Truth is, Wolfsburg wants to give Porsche a little time to face the music and the inevitable. That epiphany may come today. Porsche is up against a united front in Wolfsburg. Piech, the board of directors, the unions, and the state of Lower Saxony have joined together to put Wiedeking in his place. Porsche is short of money. VW sits on a pile of cash. There may be more . . .

Spiegel magazine said Porsche was considering whether it could get a loan from KfW, Germany’s state-owned development bank that is running some of the government’s economic stimulus programs for the corporate sector.

Piech already offered Wiedeking a new job at Volkswagen, under conditions. “He would have to step several rungs down the ladder. He would have to be demure,” Master Dominator Piech said, according to Die Zeit. Opines Reuters: “Such comments from Piech, who is also a major shareholder in Porsche, has ended the careers of other managers.” Especially if it’s an alpha male like Wiedeking.

FLASH: Our spy in Weissach reports that only 15 members of the 16 member supervisory board are meeting behind closed doors. AWOL: Ferdinand Piech. He snubbed even his own family meeting.

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  • SpeedRacerrrrr SpeedRacerrrrr on May 18, 2009
    ... only occasionally visible at Hyundai. LOL. I'll agree with you about Toyota but must demur on Hyundai. They've gotten a little better since legal and financial troubles forced professional management into place in Korea, but we're still waiting to see if they can keep top management in place for more than a year at a time.

  • SpeedRacerrrrr SpeedRacerrrrr on May 18, 2009
    Chrysler (Iaccoca, Lutz, Eaton) So what's the solution? The Chrysler example is a perfect one. Here you have three individuals: - Iaccoca, personifying the old-school way of business in the US (expediency rules, "technology" is just a feature like color and body-style, profit taking whenever you can, marketing wins the day) - Lutz, personifying the technically savy manager (design/engineering rules, development process is important, don't build a product until it's ready, product wins the day) - Eaton, personifying the financial guy (financial priorities rule, quarterly results are important, synergy and efficiency defined by quarterly financials tell all, cash in my pocket wins the day) It makes sense that when you get these three guys in a room together they are going to hate each other. How do you reconcile that? Who will decide who should go and who should stay? And by what criteria? Should top management have a more balanced point of view? Is balance really what a capitalistic, competitive and entrepreneurial society values most highly in corporate leadership? In Japan the tendency is to have engineering types be in charge. Is that really what Americans want? Or would they stand for that? Ultimately it is the Board that should answer these questions. But boards are made up of human beings subject to life's pressures as are we all. I don't think there are easy answers to any of this.

  • Mike1041 At $300K per copy they may secure as much as 2 or 3 deposits of $1,000
  • Sgeffe Why on Earth can’t you just get the torque specs and do it yourself if you’re so-inclined?!
  • Sgeffe As was stated in another comment, the FAA nominee went down in flames. But the NTSB chairwoman certainly didn’t, and she’s certainly not qualified either!Lots of this kind of stuff going on both sides of the aisle—Ben Carson would have arguably made a better Surgeon General than HUD Secretary under Trump, for example.
  • Art Vandelay Interesting, the Polestar 2 I had as a rental utilized Android Automotive which is what GM said it is going to exclusively, yet it still offers Apple CarPlay according to this. Wonder if GM will do the same.
  • Stuart de Baker EVs just aren't ready for prime time for those with a single car and who take road trips. Being able to charge as soon as you arrive at a charging station, and even the chargers working on your car is a crapshoot. In the former case, you could have to wait for nearly an hour while someone else is charging.I also don't find EVs particularly fun to drive (I've driven a Tesla Model S and an Ionic 5.) I LOVE driving my '08 Civic (stick). I love the handling, the feel and responsiveness of the engine, the precise steering (the Michelin Pilot Ultra Sport tires help, but even with the snows on, the car is a joy). I have 152k on the clock, and hopefully another 25 years or so of driving (I was born early in the Eisenhower Administration and I have exceptionally healthy habits), and I'm going to try to keep the Civic for the duration.My Civic causes a less global warming emissions than some of these humongous battery operated trucks.