Bernd Pischetsrieder

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Bernd Pischetsrieder
BornFebruary 15, 1948 (1948-02-15) (age 71)
Flag of Germany Munich, Bavaria, Germany
OccupationChairman, Scania AB
(2002 - 2007),
CEO, Volkswagen Group
(2002 - 2006),
CEO, BMW
(1993 - 1999)
Known forBugatti Veyron

Bernd Pischetsrieder (born 15 February 1948) is a German automobile engineer and manager.

He was born in Munich, Bavaria, and studied Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich from 1968 to 1972. He earned the degree of "Diplom Ingenieur", and began his career at BMW in 1973 as a Production Planning Engineer. He was promoted to become chairman of the board of BMW from 1993 through 1999. He was also chairman of the Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen AG) from 2002 to 2006, and chairman of Scania AB until 2007.

During his time as head of BMW, Pischetsrieder was known for solidifying the company's position as a leader in the luxury car market with a solid sporting and engineering reputation. His decision in 1994 to purchase Rover Group from British Aerospace was widely regarded as a failure. Although this brought the valuable Mini and Land Rover marques into BMW ownership, the Rover passenger car operation drained the company's coffers. Rover was sold off in 2000, with Ford taking on Land Rover, and the revived Mini remaining at BMW. A more notable achievement was the assumption of the Rolls-Royce marque, a deal which left rival Volkswagen manager, Ferdinand Piëch, with only the Bentley marque, and the Crewe factory.

On 16 April 2002, Pischetsrieder succeeded Piëch as chairman of Volkswagen AG. At Volkswagen, he directed Bugatti Automobiles SAS to reengineer the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, delaying an expected launch. He continued moving the Audi and Volkswagen marques upmarket to some controversy.

He is known to be an enthusiastic driver, and once wrote off a silver McLaren F1 exotic sports car. There were only 64 street legal versions of the McLaren manufactured.

In a surprise announcement on 7 November 2006, it was revealed that Pischetsrieder would be stepping down from the top job at Volkswagen AG on 31 December that year. He was to be replaced by Dr Martin Winterkorn, who was head of the Audi division.

Family connection

Sir Alec Issigonis, the British car designer and engineer who created the Morris Minor and the Mini, was a first cousin once removed of Pischetsrieder.[1]

References

  1. Bardsley, Gillian. Issigonis: The Official Biography. Icon Books. ISBN 1-84046-687-1.