Ferdinand Piëch belonged to that type of manager who seldom accepts a no. As a strong man at VW, he trimmed the company into a global corporation, first as chairman of the board, later as chairman of the supervisory board. All the more astonishing is an anecdote about the autoboss who died in 2019 and which “Manager Magazin” reported on Friday.
After a test drive with a Tesla Model S in July 2013, Piëch is said to have been so impressed with the electric car that the then VW supervisory board head forged a takeover plan. “If it’ll buy the company for me,” that was his assignment, “Manager Magazin” quotes an unnamed source.
VW CEO Martin Winterkorn and chief developer Ulrich Hackenberg were less enthusiastic about it. Still, the plan became concrete. In the weeks after the test drive, Piëch brought investment bankers on board and built up a team to prepare an offer. But Tesla boss Elon Musk let them down.
Volkswagen did not want to comment on the alleged Tesla purchase offer from 2013 at the request of NewsABC.net.
One thing is certain: A (majority) stake in Tesla would have been a lucrative business in retrospect. Tesla was worth a little over $ 16 billion on the stock exchange in the summer of 2013. Today the market capitalization is $ 590 billion – more than 36 times that much.