Ferdinand Piech, previously CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Auto Group, has passed away at the age of 82.
Piech is credited with transforming the Volkswagen Auto Group (VAG) into the global giant automaker it is today and into profitability dies suddenly this past Sunday. He was appointed as VW CEO in 1993 after working for Porsche and Audi in the 60s and 70. He wasn’t the easiest person to work with, some even feared his treacherous management style, but in the end, he created the VAG we know today.
Ferdinand Piech grew up in a world immersed in the automobile. It made sense for him to study engineering before his uncle Ferry Porsche gave him a job as a project manager in Stuttgart. Some of these projects were the 906 and 917 race cars.
He moved on to Audi in the early 70s where he was instrumental in the development of the company’s signature 5-cylinder engine. He continued to grow and move within the company until 1993 when he was given the big corner office at VW. At the time, Volkswagen was not doing well but within 10 years and without major cuts and layoffs, he turned to company around.
By 2012, the VAG included the likes of Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Audi and numerous other products making it the largest automaker in the world. At the time, he’d also orchestrated the acquisition of Porsche, which was a triumph.
His legacy is somewhat tarnished by the September 2015 diesel scandal however no direct links were ever established. No matter what, he will go down in automotive history as a most iconic personality and a person that shaped the automotive industry as we know it today.