Spiritual father of the Porsche 917

Spiritual father of the Porsche 917

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”.

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In existence since 1805, and across family generations, D’Ieteren seeks growth and value creation by pursuing a strategy on the long term for its businesses and actively encouraging and supporting them to develop their position in their industry or in their geographies. The Group has currently three activities articulated around strong brands:

 

D'Ieteren Auto distributes Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Škoda, Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Porsche and Yamaha vehicles in Belgium. It is the country's number one car distributor, with a market share of around 21% and 1.2 million vehicles on the road. Sales and adjusted operating result reached respectively EUR 3.4 billion and EUR 113.0 million in 2018.

 

Belron (54.10% owned) has a clear purpose: “making a difference by solving people’s problems with real care”. It is the worldwide leader in vehicle glass repair and replacement and operates in 35 countries, through wholly owned businesses and franchises, with market leading brands – including Carglass®, Safelite® and Autoglass®. In addition, Belron manages vehicle glass and other insurance claims on behalf of insurance customers. It has also expanded its services into the automotive damage and home damage repair and replacement markets. Sales and adjusted operating result reached respectively EUR 3.8 billion and EUR 225.7 million in FY 2018.

 

Moleskine (100% owned) is a premium and aspirational lifestyle brand which develops and sells iconic branded notebooks and writing, travel and reading accessories through a multichannel distribution strategy across more than 115 countries. Sales and operating result reached respectively EUR 174.1 million and EUR 28.6 million in FY 2018.

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