Воскресенье, 21 июля, 2024

Automotive monarch with $3.5 billion in personal assets

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Former Volkswagen boss Ferdinand Piech, who died at the age of 82, has 12 children from 4 women.

“The most interesting thing in life is the process of achieving a goal. As soon as I see that the goal has been achieved and everything has already been fixed, I get bored. The joy and satisfaction that the goal has been achieved does not last long. I feel an inner emptiness and immediately look for something to do.”

This is what Ferdinand Piech, former chairman of the board of directors of the Volkswagen Group, said in his autobiography. He was not an ordinary manager, but an absolute automobile monarch.

He created a global concern with 12 best-selling brands, from Audi, Porsche to Skoda, Seat and MAN. It employed 600,000 people and over the years Piech had amassed a personal fortune estimated at $3.5 billion.

Ferdinand is almost the only member of the Porsche clan who continued the traditions of his grandfather. But in his personal life, Peach is the exact opposite of the ascetic Ferdinand Porsche. One of the most powerful car managers in the world has 12 children by 4 women. A very young Ferdinand married Corina von Plant, with whom he had five children. What follows is a whirlwind romance with Peach’s half-brother’s wife, Marlene, who gives birth to two more children. This is followed by an affair with the 25-year-old nanny of his heirs. The relationship with Marlene and the governess was perceived by the Porsche family as a real scandal, which eventually led to a new marriage in 1984 with 20-year-old Ferdinand Ursula, with whom he was literally until his last breath — he was with her. table during the fateful dinner on 25 August.

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Few people can claim that they not only retained the fame of the family brand, but also increased it. Ferdinand Pietsch is one of those people. His mother, Lewis, is the sister of Ferdinand Porsche. Piech was born in 1938. The young man received a good technical education and a design engineer diploma.

Ferdinand’s automotive career began at Porsche, when the business was run with the active participation of the whole family. In 1963, the young designer was entrusted with the first serious and very responsible job — to develop a 6-cylinder boxer engine for the Porsche 911. Pich worked side by side with his cousin Alexander Porsche on this difficult task.

911 became the most famous car in the history of the brand.

Piech worked at Porsche until 1971. The family council then made the seemingly bizarre decision to remove a number of relatives from running the business, but keep them at a 10 percent stake. This mostly refers to the grandchildren of Porsche, but Piech was among those who were recalled. By this time, he had already become a well-known designer and a member of the supervisory board of the company, but was forced to agree with the decision of his relatives.

Thus, in 1972 Pih began working for Audi, which had been part of the Volkswagen group since 1965. Under his leadership and with his direct participation, work was carried out to create a new family of 5-cylinder Audi engines. The biggest success during this period was the all-wheel drive system called Quattro. It was Pich who convinced the top management of the company to take a risk and launch a series of 4×4 models.

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The board of directors objected to investing money in the development of a complex system that significantly increased the cost of the car. Over time, the Audi quattro system became legendary and is still in use today.

Piech later allowed designers to experiment with aluminum structures. The result is a reduction in vehicle weight, a revolution in design and progress in production.

Thanks to his business qualities, Audi’s chief designer received a leadership position in the parent company — in 1993 Piech became chairman of the Volkswagen Group.

For five years (from 1994 to 1998), the revenue of the concern, headed by Pih, increased by more than one and a half times — from $44 billion to $70.5 billion. This happened after Volkswagen had assembled a wonderful collection of world famous car brands: Bugatti, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Skoda, Seat.

Many people remember how much noise was raised in the early 1990s by the decision of Volkswagen management to buy the Czech brand Skoda, which was in crisis. Opposition groups again accused Pih of «unjustified» spending. But, as time has shown, neither efforts nor costs were in vain.

At the time, journalists called Piech «the businessman of the century.» He became a world celebrity and entered the list of the richest people in his native Austria. The personal fortune of the financial genius, according to Business Week magazine, is estimated at $ 3.5 billion. The money was bequeathed to his wife, Ursula, on the condition that he not remarry.

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