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 does not really strike the silent and strong trait. Rather, it was like this: he could do everything, knew everything, did everything. The razor-sharp man hated to explain things twice. He once said about his brains: "I know that it's enough." Dare to "be the best today, tomorrow and in two years". With this approach, for example, he implemented the one-liter car he once drove from Wolfsburg to Hamburg to the VW Group's annual general meeting. Consumption: 0,8 liters of diesel. However, the streamlined car has not yet gone into series production.

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:pointed to the basement, hardly any rashes positive. There was never any sign of improvement in this life. Some people were trembling in front of him. The introverted through-and-through technician only seemed to 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 the VW throne. Couldn't understand that there were other candidates besides him. A former head of Porsche's department about him: “A technical genius who is constantly scratching the insanity.” Because of his relentless attention to detail, for example in the gap dimensions of the body parts, meaning their accuracy of fit, he was given the nickname "Fugen-Ferdl" within the group. After forging a car giant with VW, Audi and other brands, he saw himself as Ferdinand Porsche of modern times, as the guardian of his grandfather's legacy. He will have taken a strong dash of self-confidence from a very special circumstance: namely not to have been born with the name Porsche. What at first seems absurd made him stronger. Because his mother Louise, a Porsche by birth, had married a Piëch, son Ferdinand had to live with this shortcoming for a lifetime - and turned it into a positive thing. Ferdinand Piëch always felt like a Porsche. His grim motto for life was therefore: I'll show you.

Quirk number: difficult to count. At board meetings, for example, demanded that each participant say beforehand how long he wanted to speak to the minute. He spoke softly in a fistulous voice, always generating attention. He also took a lot of time for answers. A manager: "Sometimes I thought he would send the answer in the mail." At the same time he stared mercilessly at the interlocutor with a kind of spell beam from two tubes. The psycho-game mostly suddenly led to sweats. As soon as he was in a jet that was just starting, he looked at his watch, waited 40 seconds, and then reached for the newspaper calmly. If the aviator did not take off after 40 seconds, he estimated that a crash would usually have occurred after a further 20 to 30 seconds. The realist, who somehow had to calculate everything, did not 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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