Sunday, April 26, 2015

Piëch’s resignation is a turning point: At Volkswagen, a new era begins – NEWS


 Sunday, April 26, 2015


  A commentary by Diana Dittmer


 The withdrawal of Ferdinand Piech after his attack on Martin Winterkorn was due. Nevertheless, he leaves a void in the Group, which alone can not fill the VW boss.



Ferdinand Piëch has done many things right. The attack on VW CEO Winterkorn belonged definitely not one of them. For sits his departure. Before the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen could vote him out, he has beaten the shame on Saturday night. There are people who know how to leave a lasting impression – even if they lose. Piech is one of them.

The fact that he once so clear the VW stage that he would practically dethrone himself until a few weeks ago was unthinkable. For decades he was the undisputed “King of Wolfsburg.” When he instigated the surprising power struggle against Winterkorn a few weeks ago, was the career of salaried top manager already at an end. That ultimately Piëch would fall as the main shareholder over the dismissal attempt by his many years of desire successor, was not foreseeable.

Actually Piëch had given himself two years to organize a smooth change of leadership at the top of the group. By attacking Winterkorn he has made himself a dash through the bill. He has the support for the head of VW underestimated simply. But ultimately failed, he is on his way he makes decisions, and how he communicates.

That it against both the three employee representatives, as well as his cousin Wolfgang Porsche with his authoritarian single-handedly in the six-member Supervisory Bureau would be applied, must have been a big surprise for him. So far, the 78-year-old had always enforced. To have one or the other seems an invoice with the old warhorse had open. Here was a chance to get rid of him.

The Porsches turned his back

The resignation of Ferdinand Piëch personally consistently. And within the meaning of Volkswagen. He provided the Group saves two agonizing years. The Supervisory Board had recently recommended Winterkorn’s contract be extended for two years. Piëch himself wanted to continue the Supervisory Board at the time. That would work, it was hard to imagine. Another war remains Wolfsburg now hopefully saves.

But Piëch is in anger. How much are recognizable, that his wife Ursula also leaving the board. The common output signals: the Piëch and Porsche are divorced people. You do not want the fate of the group make together. The question is whether they will next leave their shares. They still hold the majority stake in the company.

Winterkorn has to prove that he has rightly won the power struggle. Plenty of time to rest on his victory, he has not. The top manager has although they have much beneath it, the VW workforce has almost doubled. The Group as never before sold 2,014 more vehicles. In addition, Winterkorn has expanded the group of four brands. But Piëch’s criticism of him was also entitled

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The shortcomings are obvious. The disastrous American business, the puny margins of the core brand VW, while the daughters making good money. Volkswagen has pent-up demand in many places. That he is the best man at the head of Volkswagen, Winterkorn must prove especially now.

After Piëch’s departure, a new era begins in Wolfsburg. The Group is required to undergo restructuring and the gap that leaves Piëch fill. This work starts now – with a provisionally unionists at the top of the Supervisory Board. Piëch’s post takes over as his deputy: the former IG Metall, Berthold Huber. The 65-year-old will also lead the Annual General Meeting of the Group on 5 May.



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