|We kick off Show Notes for the 2015 Frankfurt auto show with a look back at a bold-faced name that likely won’t be returning to the exhibit floor this year. Ferdinand Piech, who resigned as supervisory board chairman of Volkswagen AG in April, had been a fixture at the biennial show for years. He’s seen here in a Volkswagen L1 Hybrid concept car as Holger Bock, left, the car's development head, and Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, center, look on, during the opening day of the Frankfurt show on Sept. 17, 2009.|
Piech, the 78-year-old grandson of the inventor of the VW Beetle and chairman since 2002, was forced out after attempting to discredit Winterkorn. While his departure ended an era at the German carmaker -- he became VW CEO in 1993 and later pulled the company back from the brink -- recent news reports say Piech prevented Winterkorn from fulfilling his ambition to become chairman, showing the patriarch's ongoing influence behind the scenes. Volkswagen CFO Hans Dieter Poetsch -- viewed as a peacemaker -- has been nominated to become chairman of VW.
-- David Phillips