Winterkorn? Pötsch? Piech? Listen to Volkswagen’s hallway radio for answers

Winterkorn BJ - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

The Flurfunk was perplexed. Until yesterday, anyone with a license to tune into the hallway radio, Volkswagen’s fast and furious rumor mill, would hear that current CEO Martin Winterkorn would be promoted to the much cushier job as Chairman of Volkswagen’s Aufsichtsrat (Supervisory Board) for sure, and that the heavy lifting expected from a Volkswagen CEO would fall to current Porsche chief Matthias Müller. Then yesterday, it was announced, much to the hallway radio’s consternation, that Winterkorn would stay on as CEO for two more years. Then today, Reuters picked up that Hans-Dieter Pötsch, Volkswagen’s long-time CFO, would be nominated for the chairman slot. Hours later, Volkswagen’s PR department confirmed. The hallway radio was speechless. What happened?

[Continue Reading]

Connecting the dots: Volkswagen’s low cost car, the Great Wall affair, Piech’s ouster, and Nissan

Piech Winterkorn 2 Picture courtesy n-tv.de

Last weekend, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn told Bild am Sonntag that his company will finally build a budget car line, 2018, in China. A few days earlier, Ferdinand Piech’s older brother Ernst told Germany’s society magazine Die Bunte that Winterkorn is putting Piech’s lifetime achievement in jeopardy. Both are connected. [Continue Reading]

Winterkorn wins, Piech pouts, departs. But why?

Geschafft! Winterkorn in Beijing, where the battle was won

Victorious Wiko at the Beijing Motor Show. He did not show in Shanghai

“Ursula, we are leaving,” or words to that effect, said Ferdinand Piech to his wife Ursula, and both stepped down from the supervisory board of Volkswagen. Or maybe, it was “Ferdi, they don’t deserve you, let’s go.” They said it two hours after the board’s six-member executive committee sat down for yet another emergency meeting, this time near the Braunschweig-Wolfsburg airport, where with Volkswagen money the runway was extended to accommodate Volkswagen’s Airbus A319. The committee decided “that in view of the background of the last weeks the mutual trust necessary ?for successful cooperation no longer exists.” Ferdinand and Ursula tendered their resignation. [Continue Reading]

Volkswagen board members demand Piech’s head

Shunned in Shanghai: Piech's new favorite Wolfgang Müller . Winterkorn called in sick

Shunned in Shanghai: Piech’s new favorite Matthias Müller. Winterkorn called in sick

Piech’s planned ouster of Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn could cost Piech the chairman seat, information from Germany says. Top board members opine that if Piech can’t keep the peace, Piech must go. Last week, Winterkorn found the backing of all members of the executive committee of Volkswagen’s Supervisory Board. Wiko even received Piech’s vote – after Piech was threatened with dismissal by the other members. Last week, the DailyKanban wrote: “More tiffs between the erstwhile rope team are pre-programmed.” We did not have to wait long for that. [Continue Reading]

Hedge fund sues Ferdinand Piëch and Wolfgang Porsche, using what some say is NSA information

Ferdl and Wolferl

Ferdl and Wolferl

Elliott Associates, one of the world’s oldest, and definitively the world’s most aggressive hedge funds, brought suit against Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piëch and his cousin Wolfgang Porsche. The suit alleges, as Der Spiegel reports, that both conspired in the takeover of Porsche by Volkswagen, and that they defrauded shareholders. The suit asks for punitive damages of €1.8 billion ($2.43 billion.) This is not the first lawsuit in that matter, there are pending lawsuits against Volkswagen and Porsche, asking for a total of €5.7 billion. This is the first suit against Piëch and Porsche in person. It marks a “new level of escalation,” as Der Spiegel says. Escalation also, because some say the NSA is an informant.
[Continue Reading]