Former VW Chief Executive Dies

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Aug. 27, 2019—Ferdinand Karl Piech, Volkswagen's former chairman and chief executive, recently died at the age of 82, according to a report by Reuters.

Piech transformed the company from a struggling midsized carmaker into a global automotive power. A respected engineer, Piech turned around VW after betting on a modular construction technique which allowed Audi, Skoda and VW brands to share up to 65 percent common parts.

Under his leadership, VW emphasized engineering brilliance ahead of profits and went on an expansion spree, acquiring Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini in one year. 

While working as a 31-year-old development chief at Porsche in 1968, Piech invested two thirds of Porsche’s annual budget to build 25 Porsche prototype race cars with an untested 600 horsepower air-cooled 12-cylinder engine design.


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