Ferdinand Piech, the chairman and patriach of Volkswagen’s founding family has been surprisingly defeated in his bid to remove the firm’s CEO Martin Winterkorn.
He received the supervisory board’s “full support” as well as the offer of a new contract when his current deal expires in 2016.
Industry watchers have described the outcome as an unprecedented defeat for VW’s chairman.
“Winterkorn is the right man at the top right now but whether he’ll still be in two or three years, remains to be seen.”
Piech, who turned 78 on Friday, provoked a showdown by telling a German magazine that he had “distanced” himself from Winterkorn, who has nearly doubled revenues at Europe’s largest auto group in his eight years at the helm.
But Winterkorn has also faced criticism for the company’s underperforming operations in the United States, its failure to keep pace with rivals like BMW on fuel efficient technologies and the slowness of its push into budget cars.