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They came from Tesla and Porsche: Piëch’s son Toni ran away from 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 Piëch, son of Volkswagen patriarch Ferdinand Piëch 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, Piëch presented the “Mark Zero” at the Geneva Motor Show, the study of a high-performance electric coupe in classic styling. 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, operating under the surname of the co-founder, was able to complete a first drivable prototype, which is already considered a milestone for electric car startups like Piëch Automotive. The vehicle is used for other tests.

Matthias Müller did not stay a year

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, several top managers that “Toni” Piëch was able to attract to his company had already been fired. This is shown by the investigation of “Spiegel”. The proudly presented team included Jochen Rudat, who had previously run Tesla’s European business, and BMW man Klaus Schmidt, who was appointed Piëch Automotive’s chief engineer.

The most prominent example, however, is probably former Porsche and VW boss Matthias Müller, who enthusiastically joined Piëch Automotive in 2020 and served as chairman of the supervisory board for a few months before leaving the company again after. of less than a year. According to information from “Spiegel”, the 68-year-old industry veteran was highly critical of some of Piëch’s basic ideas, which is said to have led to strong 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 Advisor to the Chairman of the Board of Directors last fall before leaving Piëch Automotive entirely in March. Rudat, who was the “Head of Sales” of the young company, is said to have resigned in the meantime.

Anton Piëch is not discouraged.

Even if his car company is apparently struggling with serious personnel problems, Anton Piëch 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 realize the originally announced series production start of the Piëch GT within two years. A failure of the automaker would be a disgrace if only for the promising name.

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