Guest contribution by Harald Kaiser on Ferdinand Piëch's death: like a Tyrolean rock

The opening of the Autostadt Wolfsburg in 2000 also took place during Piëch's tenure as CEO.

The journalist Harald Kaiser wrote an interesting psychogram on Ferdinand Piëch's death. The former Stern head of the Auto department often met Piëch and interviewed him several times. He characterizes a maker who many of his former employees were afraid of and who mostly found the media to be annoying.

He chased many of his top managers, whom he often hired himself, back out of the yard quickly and with a lot of money in their luggage if they didn't track. The Austrian, born as a multimillionaire, was the type of fast breeder. He almost always seemed to be under constant tension. He was not a child of the wind tunnel, but edgy like a Tyrolean rock. Here are his most salient features:

Vanity factor:sky high, was hard to beat. But the word doesn't really hit the character trait that is as quiet as it is strong. Rather, it was like this: he could do everything, knew everything, did everything. The man with the razor-sharp mind hated to explain things twice. He once said of his brains: “I know it's enough.” Have the courage to be “the best today, tomorrow and in two years”. He used this approach, for example, to implement the one-liter car that he once drove from Wolfsburg to Hamburg for the VW Group's annual general meeting. Consumption: 0,8 liters of diesel. Nevertheless, the streamlined car has not gone into series production to this day.

Diplomacy Rate: barely noticeable, went towards the zero line. Ex-employees say that he had the flair of an uncut camshaft. In 1993, the former BMW boss Eberhardt von Kuenheim was amazed at Piëch's appointment as VW boss: "This is above all a political job." In friendly terms, Piëch was considered gruff. When he became head of Audi in 1988, he dismissed his managers with the words: “I'm satisfied with 15 percent. With 45 percent I can work together when the performance improves, I will have to separate from the rest. ”

Symphatie curve:showed in the basement, hardly any positive changes. Improvement was never in sight in this life. Some people trembled at him. The introverted through-and-through technician seemed to only be able to communicate with his slide rule.

Glamor urge:was very underdeveloped. When cameras were pointed at him, he looked like an uncertain confirmation candidate. Hardly fashionable chic in an expensive outfit. He was always the type of gray mouse, but with made-to-measure shoes. He enjoyed this picture.

Ambition value:was hard to beat. Always wanted to sit on the VW throne. Couldn't understand that there were other candidates besides him. A former head of department at Porsche about him: “A technical genius who constantly scratches at madness.” Because of his relentless obsession with details, for example with the gap dimensions of the body parts, which means their accuracy of fit, he was nicknamed “Fugen-Ferdl” within the group. After forging an auto giant with VW, Audi and other brands, he saw himself as Ferdinand Porsche of the modern age, as the guardian of his grandfather's legacy. He will have fueled a strong shot of self-confidence from a very special circumstance: namely, not having been born with the name Porsche. What seems absurd at first made him stronger. Because his mother Louise, who was born in Porsche, married a Piëch, his son Ferdinand had to live with this name flaw all his life - and turned it into a positive. Ferdinand Piëch has always felt like a Porsche. His dogged motto in life was therefore: I'll show you.

Quirk number: difficult to count. At board meetings, for example, it required that each participant had to say in advance how long they wanted to talk to the minute. He spoke softly in a fistulous voice, always drawing attention. He also took a lot of time for answers. A manager: "Sometimes I thought he'd send the answer in the mail." At the same time he stared mercilessly at the interlocutor with a kind of banish beam from two pipes. The mind game usually led to sudden sweats in the other person. As soon as he was sitting in a jet that was just taking off, he looked at his watch, waited 40 seconds and then calmly reached for the newspaper. If the plane did not take off after 40 seconds, he estimated, a crash would usually have occurred after another 20 to 30 seconds. The realist, who somehow had to calculate everything, didn't want to be surprised by that.

1 comment to "Guest contribution by Harald Kaiser on Ferdinand Piëch's death: like a Tyrolean rock"

  1. Rolf F. Nieborg | 3. September 2019 15 to: 32 | Reply

    Harald portrayed him very aptly. We also often shared impressions. I always felt that there was a fine line between genius and madness.
    FP constantly proved this fact ...

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