19.05.2024

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Ferdinand Piech was born

Photo: Wikipedia

On April 17, 1937 it was the birthday of Ferdinand Piech, an Austrian manufacturer and engineer, a legend of automotive world. Being a grandson to Porsche himself, even as a child Ferdinand was going in for cars. After finishing with his studies Piech worked at his grandfather’s factory as a designer of sportcars and took part in races himself in the meantime. In 1970 he even won «24 hours of Le Mans». In 1972 Ferdinand Piech came to Audi where he was in charge of the teams created revolutionary models of the time – Audi Quattro and Audi 100. Thanks to his success the reputation of the firm equalized to the level of Mercedes-Benz and BMW. In 1993 he became the head of Volkswagen and made almost the impossible by increasing the total volume of sales and income, pushing the company onto the primary poles in the automotive industry. Piech united Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, SEAT, Lamborghini and Bentley into one powerful conglomerate and revived the brand of Bugatti. For outstanding achievements in the industry he was awarded the title of «Automotive Manager of the 20th century». In 2019, August 25, Piech collapsed at home as a result of a fainting and was taken to hospital where he died a short time after. But no exact cause of death was ever stated. The business of Piech was taken over by one of his sons, Tony, who founded a firm named after the father – «Piech Automotive».

Cover: The Globe and Mail