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They came from Tesla and Porsche: Pïech’s son Toni fled top managers for his electric car startup

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Anton “Toni” Pïech next to the Mark Zero, a preliminary study of the production model of the Pïech GT planned for 2024.

Anton Pïech, son of Volkswagen patriarch Ferdinand Pïech and great-grandson of none other than Ferdinand Porsche, unlike his famous ancestors, is not an engineer. However, the businessman with the prestigious surname decided to join the car companies, following the family tradition.

In 2019, at the Geneva Motor Show, Pïech presented the “Mark Zero”, the study of a high-performance, classic-style electric coupe. The Zurich-based startup received first recognition in the industry for the design and key technical data mentioned at the time. Last October, the manufacturer, which operates under the surname of the co-founder, was able to complete its first drivable prototype, which is already considered a milestone for electric car startups like Pïech Automotive. The vehicle is used for other tests.

Matthias Müller did not stay a year

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, some top managers that “Toni” Pïech was able to attract to his company had already left. This shows a mirror investigation. The team that was once proudly introduced included Jochen Rudat, who had previously run Tesla’s European business, and BMW man Klaus Schmidt, who was appointed chief engineer at Pïech Automotive.

The most prominent example, however, is probably former Porsche and VW boss Matthias Müller, who enthusiastically joined Pïech Automotive in 2020 and served as chairman of the supervisory board for a few months before leaving the company after less than a year. According to Spiegel, the 68-year-old industry veteran was highly critical of some of Piech’s basic ideas, which is said to have led to heated arguments in some cases.

The sales manager is also gone.

Former Burmester and Porsche manager Andreas Henke, who was originally appointed chief executive, is said to have had a similar experience. He was appointed special adviser to the chairman of the board last fall before leaving Pïech Automotive entirely in March. Rudat, who was the “Head of Sales” of the young company, is said to have resigned in the meantime.

Anton Pïech is not discouraged.

Even if his car company is apparently struggling with serious personnel problems, Anton Pïech is far from giving up. “Both corporate development, financing and technical development are going according to plan,” the auto industry scion told the mirror.

In a podcast of the specialized media “Auto Motor und Sport”, he stressed that he continues to search for top-level talent for his team. The goal: to be able to start serial production of the originally announced Pïech GT in two years. A failure of the automaker would be a disgrace if only for the promising name.

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