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Former Volkswagen boss Ferdinand Piëch dies

Ferdinand Piech

Ferdinand Piëch, one of the architects of today's Volkswagen Group, has died aged 82.

Piëch became Volkswagen CEO in 1993 when the company was in financial difficulty, and by the time he stepped down as chairman in 2015, just months before news broke of the group's diesel emissions cheating, it had become a global automotive giant, with eight brands.

He turned around the business after backing a modular construction technique which allowed the Audi, Skoda, Seat and Volkswagen brands to share up to 65% common parts, helping Volkswagen Group to attain greater economies of scale.

And it bought Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini to expand into the ultra wealthy end of the car market.

Developments and innovations during his reign included the Audi A2, dual clutch transmission, the Bugatti Veyron and the iconic Audi Quattro.

“First and foremost I always saw myself as a product person, and relied on gut instinct for market demand. Business and politics never distracted me from the core of our mission: to develop and make attractive cars,” Piech wrote in his autobiography.

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