April 11, 1992
The board of Volkswagen AG, Europe's biggest car maker, named a new chairman and deputy chairman Friday whose main task will be to slash costs and boost profits to meet tough Japanese competition. Austrian-born Ferdinand Piech, head of Volkswagen's Audi subsidiary, will succeed Chairman Carl Hahn, 65, beginning in 1993, and French-born Daniel Goeudevert, a board member, was named Piech's deputy.
March 30, 1992 |
Ferdinand Piech, grandson of the legendary car maker Ferdinand Porsche, has been tentatively chosen to become chairman of Volkswagen AG at the start of next year, Volkswagen said. Piech is head of Audi, Volkswagen's sister company. Volkswagen also said that 12,500 jobs will be phased out through attrition over the next five years to cut costs. About 127,000 people are employed by Volkswagen in Germany. The company has plants in other countries as well.
December 6, 1994
An updated version of the famed Volkswagen Beetle designed by the German car maker's Simi Valley design studio will be on the market by the end of the decade, Volkswagen A.G. recently announced. The price of the car and the number that will be produced were not disclosed, but the company said that the United States will be one of the primary markets for the new car. "We're over the moon," said Charles Ellwood, head of the Simi Valley studio, using an expression imported from his native England.
August 9, 1993 |
For the first time since General Motors Corp. accused a former executive of taking confidential documents to Volkswagen AG, VW has conceded some GM documents were taken to Germany, but says they were never distributed at VW. GM's German subsidiary, Adam Opel, immediately welcomed the news on Sunday, saying that prosecutors investigating what GM contends is large-scale industrial espionage would find the VW statement "extraordinarily meaningful." "Opel welcomes the . . .
November 26, 1993 |
In the most dramatic evidence to date of Western Europe's grim economic prospects, Germany's largest auto maker, Volkswagen AG, on Thursday announced an agreement with trade unions to implement a four-day workweek from the start of next year. Company officials said the plan, which constitutes a 20% reduction in working hours for VW's 100,000 employees, was envisioned for an initial period of two years.
November 21, 1987 |
Confronted with slumping demand for Volkswagens, particularly the Golf hatchback, the West German car maker announced Friday that it will close its plant in Westmoreland, Pa., the company's sole U.S. assembly operation. Overall U.S. sales of Volkswagens have tumbled by a third since 1980, with hatchback sales plunging most dramatically. The Golf subcompact now sells only a third of what its look-alike predecessor, the Rabbit, sold seven years ago.
May 30, 1994 |
Every 16 seconds, a new car zips off the assembly lines at Volkswagen's huge headquarters factory in this northern German city. But that blinding speed hasn't been enough to spare Volkswagen the need to make wrenching changes affecting its corporate culture and the lives of the 51,000 people behind the auto maker's shiny products here. They numbered 65,000 only a few years ago. VW has trimmed staff but says the number is still too high.
October 8, 1998 |
Southern California is home to a huge and versatile automotive aftermarket industry that often designs and produces dress-up and performance-improving add-ons for new vehicles before the car makers even funnel their new models into dealer showrooms. The Dodge Viper, the Plymouth Prowler and the convertible Toyotas, Nissans and Ford Mustangs that sprang forth in the late 1980s can trace their bloodlines to Southern California's custom car shops.
May 12, 1996 |
German car maker Volkswagen said Saturday that it is suing U.S. giant General Motors Corp. and its unit Adam Opel for defamation, escalating a three-year battle over alleged industrial espionage. Volkswagen board member Klaus Kocks said the company had filed a lawsuit for defamation with the Frankfurt district court. The suit seeks $6.6 million in damages for statements by GM and Opel that Kocks alleged were injurious to VW's reputation.
December 12, 1996 |
Two weeks after resigning as Volkswagen's production chief, Jose Ignacio Lopez de Arriortua has been indicted on criminal charges by a German state prosecutor, according to lawyers for Lopez and for his archenemy and previous employer, General Motors Corp. The long-awaited indictment caps a 3 1/2-year investigation into GM's accusations that Lopez took company trade secrets when he jumped to Volkswagen in 1993.