Hans-Dieter Pötsch, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft: “Ferdinand Piëch has written automotive history – as a passionate manager, ingenious engineer, and a visionary entrepreneur. Since the 1960s, he has significantly shaped the development of the automobile, pushing forward the entire industry and above all Volkswagen, transforming the company into a global mobility group. Our company and its people owe Prof. Piëch a lot. With deep respect, we bow to his life’s work. We mourn with his family and relatives. And we will always keep him and his life’s work in honorable memory. ”
Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft: “Ferdinand Piëch was bold, entrepreneurially consistent, and technically brilliant. As a young engineer, he has made Porsche a brand in racing through legendary vehicles such as the 917 and the Le Mans victory. Since 1972, he has brought Audi to the next technological level with innovations such as the quattro drive and the TDI engine, and has shaped Audi into a premium brand as CEO. Heading the Volkswagen Group, Ferdinand Piëch has advanced its internationalization, the integration of Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti into the Group, and has led our volume brands to international competitiveness through a consistent platform strategy. He integrated Scania and MAN into the Group, laying the foundation for a globally competitive commercial vehicle supplier. Technologically, he and his development teams have repeatedly gone beyond the limits of the feasible: from the first one-liter car in the world to the Bugatti Veyron with 1,001 hp. Above all, Ferdinand Piëch brought quality and perfection down to the last detail in the automotive industry, deeply anchoring it in the Volkswagen DNA. I look with gratitude and great respect at his life’s work.”
Prof. Dr. Carl H. Hahn on the death of Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch
“I am very saddened by the death of Prof. Piëch. My thoughts are with his wife and his family. Even before the end of my term of office in 1992, Ferdinand Piëch had my unwavering support to become my successor as Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen. Like previously, when with my full support he was appointed head of AUDI AG. He led the Volkswagen Group into a new era. His unique work deserves great recognition. In Wolfsburg, in our region, and at the Volkswagen Group locations around the world, we mourn the loss of Ferdinand Piëch with his family. ”
Prof. Dr. Piëch began his career in 1972 at Audi AG. Since 1988, he was CEO of Audi AG, before taking over the position of CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft in 1993. In 2002, Piëch was elected Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. In 2015, he resigned from his mandates in the Volkswagen Group.
In commemoration of Ferdinand Piëch, the flags are set to half-mast in various Volkswagen locations, including Wolfsburg and Dresden.
Porsche mourns the death of Ferdinand Piëch
Ferdinand Piëch, former Member of the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG, died on 25 August 2019 at the age of 82.
“The news of his death represents a very sad loss for us. Our thoughts are with Ferdinand Piëch’s family,” says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. “His love of cars and his constant desire to drive forward technical progress will never be forgotten. Piëch was an automotive man through and through,” according to Blume: “We thank him for his passion and the courage with which he led Porsche to outstanding engineering achievements. Through strategic decisions, he laid the foundations for successful development of our company.”
The fascination for cars already ran in his blood as the grandson of design engineer Ferdinand Porsche. He began his professional career in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen on 1 April 1963 as an employee in the engine testing department at Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche KG. After successful design of an oil cooler for the Type 904 race car and a 180 PS six-cylinder race engine, Piëch became head of the testing department in 1966. The legendary six-cylinder boxer engine of the Porsche 911 was developed to series maturity under his leadership. In 1968, Piëch was appointed Head of Development, before he assumed responsibility for the technology and external development areas in the Executive Board of Porsche KG in 1971.
Piëch placed particular importance on professionalisation of the Porsche motor racing department, which achieved countless motorsport successes under his leadership. He had the 917 race car designed in 1969, a car which is still today considered to be one of the most successful race cars ever. The first overall victory of the 917 in Le Mans in 1970 under his leadership represented the start of a new era for Porsche. Due to the transformation of Porsche KG into a stock corporation and the decision that operational management positions should no longer be occupied by family members, he left the company in 1972 like all other family representatives. Ferdinand Piëch joined Audi in the same year.
He remained associated with Porsche as a Member of the Supervisory Board from 1981 to 2015. In 1984, Vienna Technical University awarded him an honorary doctorate in technical sciences. In 1999, 132 car journalists and industry experts from 33 countries named him “Car Manager of the Century”.
Audi grieves for Ferdinand Piëch
- Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch was with Audi for more than twenty years, most recently from 1988 to 1992 as Chairman of the Executive Board
- Audi CEO Bram Schot: „He united ingenuity with passion and perseverance”.
- Chairman of the General Works Council Peter Mosch: „He combined the technically possible and economically sensible with social responsibility”.
The Board of Management of AUDI AG expresses its sincere condolences to the family of Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch on behalf of all employees. In commemoration in all plants worldwide the flag is set to half-mast. Piëch was a member of the brand with the Four Rings for more than twenty years, most recently as Chairman of the Board of Management for almost five years from 1988 to the end of 1992.