Blog: Dave LeggettPiech - how calculating is he?

Dave Leggett | 8 November 2006

Some interesting theories on Pischetsrieder's VW departure - and the part played by Piech - are doing the rounds today. One of the more plausible goes like this. First off, the two guys never hit it off, having differing views on how to best run VW Group. There was some distrust from the beginning and Piech overseeing his successor from his position as patriarch and chairman of the Supervisory Board was an omnipresent pressure that BP didn't appreciate. Elvis was very much still in the building and there wasn't really room for two gaffers.

Piech kept his old contacts well fed and was not averse to playing with the media at times. Distrust between the pair grew.

But Piech knew that some tough negotiations ahead to improve Wolfsburg productivity were necessary. The deal to 'extend' BP's contract was concluded just in time for BP to do the dirty work with the Works Council.

Piech watches on from the sidelines and the deal is done - by then the labour unions are even less well-disposed towards BP. Piech then rides in, manoeuvres unpopular BP out (I wonder what that contract extension small print looked like, exactly? - but maybe compensation insignificant against the deal on hours...), offers some sweets to the German unions and ultimately gets what he wants: BP is gone, a hard deal has been done with the unions (though they are relieved to see BP gone, seeing Piech as their ally) and Piech is confirmed as still holding the strings. 

He is probably not a guy to cross if you want to stick around at VW Group. Didn't BP say uncomplimentary things publicly about the Phaeton a while back? 


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