Ferdinand Porsche, the founder of the 911 sports-car maker, created the first hybrid more than 100 years ago and designed the original Volkswagen Beetle. Those achievements haven’t counted for much in his hometown.
Porsche SE, the holding company controlling a majority stake in Volkswagen AG after a botched takeover attempt four years ago, will probably soon be investing more in energy than in sports cars like the iconic 911.
The role of Porsche SE’s supervisory board during a failed bid to take over Volkswagen AG is being investigated as a three-and-a-half-year-old market manipulation probe spreads to the family of the company’s founder.
Volkswagen AG’s name translates as “People’s Car” and the company traces its roots to a push by the Nazis to mobilize the masses. Today, it’s counting on profit from cars for the world’s elite to gain an edge in its pursuit of General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp.
Ferdinand Piech, the mastermind of Volkswagen AG’s strategy to become the world’s biggest automaker, has the support of the German company’s supervisory board for a third term as chairman, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.