Followers and politicians have appreciated his lifetime achievement for the surprising death of long-time Volkswagen CEO Ferdinand Piëch. VW General Works Council Chairman Bernd Osterloh, who once fought many fights with Piëch, called him a "great manager and engineer". Volkswagen would not be there without Ferdinand Piëch, where we are now, for which we owe him our thanks and appreciation. " The Volkswagen Group set the flags at half-mast at some locations.
Since the 1960s, Piëch has made the development of the automobile, industry and, above all, Volkswagen into a global mobility group, said Chairman of the Supervisory Board Hans Dieter Pötsch. The company and the 660,000 employees would have to thank him immensely. "Ferdinand Piëch wrote automotive history - as a passionate manager, brilliant engineer and visionary entrepreneur."
Piëch, who had chaired the Supervisory Board after his time as CEO, was courageous, entrepreneurial and technically brilliant, said today's VW CEO Herbert Diess. He had brought "quality and perfection down to the last detail in the automotive industry and deeply anchored in the Volkswagen DNA".
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In 2015, Piëch had fallen out with the then CEO Martin Winterkorn, but lost the power struggle and ultimately left the company. On the death of Piëch, Winterkorn said: "For me, Ferdinand Piëch was a long-time supporter and companion, and his visionary power and great engineering skills have influenced me for many years, first in my time at Audi and later as CEO of Volkswagen AG. " Working with Ferdinand Piëch was "always friendly and inspiring".
In the time of the dispute with Winterkorn Piëch had also removed from his cousin, the family spokesman Wolfgang Porsche, stronger. At the same time, however, Porsche always emphasized in a small circle the important points that Volkswagen and thus the owner family Piëch owe.
"We mourn the family with Ferdinand K. Piëch, the exceptional manager and engineer, the strategist, and quite simply the car enthusiast he has been through all his life," said Wolfgang Porsche, supervisory board chairman of Porsche Automobil Holding. "My cousin has many memories in common with me, focusing on the struggle for the legacy of our grandfather Ferdinand Porsche, which we successfully continued."
The former top manager had died on Sunday at the age of 82 years "suddenly and unexpectedly", as his wife Ursula Piëch had announced on Monday evening. Ursula Piëch wrote: "The life of Ferdinand Piëch was marked by his passion for the automobile and for the workers." He was until recently an avid engineer and car enthusiast. The funeral takes place in the closest family circle. Piëch leaves a large family with 13 children and more than twice as many grandchildren.
Piëch's brother, Hans Michel Piëch, said: "My brother's life's work goes far beyond the companies he worked for, shaping the German automotive industry like no other."
Piëch polarized with his way to play his power authoritarian. Elsewhere, however, he acted more nearer than it seemed from the outside. The rise of VW to a global auto empire succeeded above all by the fate of the former corporate patriarch.
Former Federal President Christian Wulff described the deceased as a disinterested manager. "I've been able to convince myself over the years in all the ups and downs that he was always concerned with the VW Group and not the pursuit of self-interests," said Wulff, from 2003 to 2010 Lower Saxony Prime Minister, the "Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung". In discussions Piëch also had "unimaginable technical details".
Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil said Piëch had been "one of the great entrepreneurs in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany". The manager took VW in 1993 in a deep crisis. "With his name, the rise of Volkswagen is connected to the global corporation." Many thousands of jobs in Lower Saxony shaped the economic basis of the country to this day, said the SPD politician. The state of Lower Saxony has two seats in the VW Supervisory Board. Currently there is Weil, the Lower Saxony Minister of Economics Bernd Althusmann represented.
9 picturesFerdinand Piëch is dead: a life on four wheels
The Lord Mayors of Brunswick and the Group headquarters Wolfsburg emphasized Piëchs merits especially with regard to the jobs at VW. In the large sales crisis, the former VW Board of Directors and Supervisory Board Chairman, together with the former HR Director Peter Hartz thousands Wolfsburg citizens with the introduction of the four-day week saved from unemployment, said Wolfsburg Lord Mayor Klaus Mohrs (SPD).
Born in Vienna Piëch had been in the center of power of the VW group for many years. The former head of Audi was CEO of Volkswagen from 1993 to 2002 and then led the Supervisory Board for a long time - as a key protagonist of the families Porsche and Piëch, the VW major shareholders. His power was great, in 2012 he even hired his wife Ursula into the VW supervisory board.