Ferdinand Piëch

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Born : April 17 1937

Overwiew Ferdinand Piech’s life

Ferdinand Karl Piëch (born 17 April 1937) is an Austrian business magnate, engineer and executive who was the chairman of the supervisory board (Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender) of Volkswagen Group until 25 April 2015.

A grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, Ferdinand Piëch started his career at Porsche, before leaving for Audi after an agreement that no member of the Porsche or Piëch families should be involved in the day-to-day operations of the company. Ferdinand  Piëch eventually became the head of Audi, where he is credited with evolving and growing Audi into a competitor to equal Mercedes-Benz and BMW, thanks in part to innovative designs such as the Quattro and 100. In 1993, Ferdinand  Piëch became the chairman and CEO of Volkswagen Group, which he is credited with turning into the large conglomerate it is today; He oversaw the purchase of Lamborghini and Bentley, as well as the founding of Bugatti Automobiles, all of which he integrated with the Volkswagen, Škoda, SEAT and Audi brands into a ladder-type structure similar to that used by Alfred Sloan at General Motors. Ferdinand Piëch was required to retire at age 65 per Volkswagen company policy, but he remained on its supervisory board and was involved in the company’s strategic decisions until his forced resignation on 25 April 2015.

Educated as an engineer, Ferdinand  Piëch influenced the development of numerous significant cars including the Audi Quattro and notably, the Bugatti Veyron, which as of 2012 is the fastest, most powerful and most expensive road legal automobile ever built. Due to his influence on the automobile industry, Ferdinand  Piëch was named the Car Executive of the Century in 1999.

Biography Ferdinand Piech

Ferdinand  Piëch was born in Vienna, Austria, to Louise  and Anton Piëch, a lawyer. Louise Porsche was the sister of Ferry Porsche, and daughter of Ferdinand Porsche. Ferdinand  Piëchstudied at the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz and graduated from the ETH Zurich, Switzerland, in 1962, with a degree in mechanical engineering, having written a master thesis about the development of a Formula One (F1) engine. At the same time, Porsche was involved in F1 and developed an 8-cylinder engine for the Porsche 804. Probably that development was a trigger for Ferdinand Piëch to write that master thesis about the development of an F1 engine. 

From 1963 to 1971, Ferdinand  Piëch worked at Porsche in Stuttgart, on the development of the Porsche 906 and following models that led to the successful Porsche 917. It may not be very well known, but it was Ferdinand Piëch who stimulated the design and development of the 1967 Porsche 911R.  Ferdinand Piëch wanted a car that was as light as a Porsche 911 could possibly be. It is told that he had a scale on his desk and every single part had to be weighed and should be ligther or it went into de trashbin. A strategy that worked, with the worldrecords in the 1967 Monza record run as one of the major results. In 1972, he moved to Audi in Ingolstadt. Starting from 1975, he was manager of technological engineering, being responsible for the concepts of the Audi 80 and Audi 100. He celebrated his 40th birthday on 17 April 1977 with a ball at which guests included Giorgetto Giugiaro and at which the staff of the Porsche Hotel presented him with an Audi 80 that was just 40 cm (16 in) long and constructed of marzipan. In 1977 he also initiated the development of a car for the World Rally Championship, resulting in the four-wheel drive Audi Quattro. The engine used in the Quattro model was a turbocharged inline-5 cylinder unit.

In 1993, Ferdinand Piëch moved to Volkswagen AG, parent company of the Volkswagen Group, where he became Chairman of the Board of Management At that time Volkswagen was only three months from bankruptcy, and Ferdinand Piëch was central to orchestrating its dramatic turnaround. Due to his continued influence in the auto industry, Automobile Magazine announced that Piëch has won their Man of the Year award for 2011.

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