Ferdinand Piëch, an icon of the German car industry, died at 82, according to Bild. Grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, he was certainly ready to follow in the footsteps of the family, but despite that, it is difficult to argue with his exploits.
His career in the automotive industry began with Volkswagen in 1952, with an apprenticeship in engine construction, and then an internship in Switzerland. In 1963, with a master's degree in engineering, he joined Porsche, working first on the 911 road car.
In 1966, Piëch was promoted to the Experimental Experiments Department of Porsche, a position he will occupy until 1971. During these years, the company developed a succession of racing cars to conquer the world. which culminated in the Porsche 917 CanAm competing in the early 1970s.
But a change in company policy prevented members of the Porsche family from playing a leadership role, and so Piëch left 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 are not.
In 1993, Piëch became CEO of Volkswagen AG, the parent company of VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda. He added Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti to this list in 1998, and his move to the position of CEO was marked by a series of vehicles that allowed engineering to be superior to profitability. Few will have driven an Audi A2 or a VW Phaeton, and few others have sat behind the wheel of a Bugatti Veyron or a VW XL1. But each was built to satisfy a specific demand from Piëch.
Although he defended these expensive cars, Piëch benefited from dedicated support within the company, even after leaving the VAG board of directors in 2002. In retirement, he was still accused of pulling the strings. . He was blamed for dismissing the CEOs of VAG and Porsche, as well as for engineering the acquisition of the family business by VAG in 2012 after Porsche had been too much indebted in its own Attempt to resume VAG for the first time. By the time diesel failures were fully revealed, it had long since made daily decisions, but we wondered at the time if the reduction in emissions was a result of a desire to impress the company. Engineer from this engineer.
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