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Ferdinand Piëch dies, father of the Porsche 917 and Bugatti Veyron
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mongo
2019-08-27 14:16:19 UTC
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https://arstechnica.com/cars/2019/08/ferdinand-piech-dies-father-of-the-porsche-917-and-bugatti-veyron


Ferdinand Piëch, an icon of the German auto industry, has died at age 82, according to Bild. As the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, he was certainly set up to follow in the family footsteps, but even so, it's hard to argue with his accomplishments.

His automotive career began at Volkswagen in 1952, with an apprenticeship building engines before going to boarding school in Switzerland. In 1963, armed with a master's degree in engineering, he joined Porsche, at first working on the 911 road car.


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In 1966, Piëch was promoted to run Porsche's Experimental Department, a post he would hold until 1971. During those years, the company put out a succession of world-beating race cars, culminating in the Porsche 917, which did so well in endurance and CanAm racing in the early 1970s.

But a change in company policy barred Porsche family members from management roles, and so Piëch decamped to Audi. There, he served as technical director and oversaw the introduction of all-wheel drive, which remains synonymous with the brand, as well as turbodiesel engines, which don't.

In 1993, Piëch became CEO of Volkswagen AG, the parent company that owned VW, Audi, Seat, and Skoda. He added Lamborghini, Bentley, and Bugatti to that list in 1998, and his time as CEO at the top was marked by a series of vehicles that put engineering ahead of profitability. Few will have driven an Audi A2 or VW Phaeton, and fewer have sat behind the wheel of a Bugatti Veyron or VW XL1. But each was built to satisfy a specific Piëch demand.


Despite championing those costly cars, Piëch enjoyed devoted support at the company, even after leaving VAG's board in 2002. In retirement, he was still accused of pulling strings. He was blamed for ousting CEOs at VAG and Porsche, as well as engineering the purchase of the family business by VAG in 2012 after Porsche became over-leveraged in its own attempt to take over VAG first. He was long gone from day-to-day decision-making by the time diesel's deficiencies were fully revealed, although at the time we did wonder if the emissions cheating came from a desire to impress this engineer's engineer.
Louis Epstein
2019-08-30 03:55:24 UTC
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Post by mongo
https://arstechnica.com/cars/2019/08/ferdinand-piech-dies-father-of-the-porsche-917-and-bugatti-veyron
Ferdinand Pi?ch, an icon of the German auto industry, has died at age 82, according to Bild. As the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, he was certainly set up to follow in the family footsteps, but even so, it's hard to argue with his accomplishments.
His automotive career began at Volkswagen in 1952, with an apprenticeship building engines before going to boarding school in Switzerland. In 1963, armed with a master's degree in engineering, he joined Porsche, at first working on the 911 road car.
The rest of us ride shotgun: Five automakers who have driven innovation
In 1966, Pi?ch was promoted to run Porsche's Experimental Department, a post he would hold until 1971. During those years, the company put out a succession of world-beating race cars, culminating in the Porsche 917, which did so well in endurance and CanAm racing in the early 1970s.
But a change in company policy barred Porsche family members from management roles, and so Pi?ch decamped to Audi. There, he served as technical director and oversaw the introduction of all-wheel drive, which remains synonymous with the brand, as well as turbodiesel engines, which don't.
In 1993, Pi?ch became CEO of Volkswagen AG, the parent company that owned
VW, Audi, Seat, and Skoda. He added Lamborghini, Bentley, and Bugatti to that
list in 1998, and his time as CEO at the top was marked by a series of
vehicles that put engineering ahead of profitability. Few will have driven an
Audi A2 or VW Phaeton, and fewer have sat behind the wheel of a Bugatti
Veyron or VW XL1. But each was built to satisfy a specific Pi?ch demand.
Despite championing those costly cars, Pi?ch enjoyed devoted support at the
company, even after leaving VAG's board in 2002.
He left the MANAGEMENT board in 2002 and moved on to chair the
SUPERVISORY board...all German corporations over a certain size
are required to have two boards,one of managers and one split
between representatives of shareholders and of employees,which
hires & fires the management board.
Post by mongo
In retirement, he was still accused of pulling strings. He was blamed for
ousting CEOs at VAG and Porsche,
Well,kicking out CEOs is something the chairman of the board that
hires them is sort of expected to do when necessary...why use the
word "blame"?...or pretend that having moved up to the supervisory
board is "retirement"?
Post by mongo
as well as engineering the purchase of the family business by VAG in 2012
after Porsche became over-leveraged in its own attempt to take over VAG
first.
It's more complicated than that.
The Porsche company split into two...one that became owned by VAG and
another that became VAG's controlling shareholder.The holding company
was obliged to install leaders of VAG's management board as its own
management board but now the former CFO of VAG who became chair of
VAG's supervisory board heads the holding company's management board.
The holding company's supervisory board is heavily Porsche-family
oriented.
Post by mongo
He was long gone from day-to-day decision-making by the time diesel's
deficiencies were fully revealed, although at the time we did wonder if the
emissions cheating came from a desire to impress this engineer's engineer.
He had lost a power struggle with the then CEO,who he had wanted to kick
out,and stepped down from the supervisory board...but that CEO was soon
found holding the bag in the emissions scandal and had to step down from
the VAG and Porsche holding company management boards,and people friendlier
to Piech were soon installed as chairs of both of VAG's boards.

-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.

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