|Died||6 November 1996 75) (aged|
Bergisch Gladbach, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Toni Schmücker (23 April 1921 in Frechen – 6 November 1996 in Bergisch Gladbach) was the fourth chief executive officer of the Volkswagen automobile company (Volkswagenwerk AG), following the handover of the company in 1948 to German control from the British, who had administered the VW factory in Wolfsburg, Germany after the Second World War ended.
Schmücker's automotive experience came from a long successful career with Ford at Cologne where he began his career as a commercial apprentice when aged 16.He returned to Ford in 1946, following his military service, working successively in the sales, finance and export departments. He was appointed Purchasing Manager in 1956 and joined the management board in 1961. He was appointed Sales manager in 1967 before leaving to become Chairman of Rheinstahl in 1968.
He became Chairman of the Volkswagen board in February 1975,succeeding Rudolf Leiding. Schmücker brought to the job a combination of political skill and personal charm that had eluded his two immediate predecessors: his authority within the company was also enhanced by the extent of the financial crisis that directly preceded his appointment and which had appeared to place the very survival of the business in doubt. At the time of Schmücker's assumption of the job, Volkswagen had just staved off bankruptcy with the introduction of the Volkswagen Golf (marketed as the Rabbit in North America and as the Caribe in Latin America), which would eventually replace the Volkswagen Beetle. One of Schmücker's first achievements at Wolfsburg involved reducing the Volkswagen workforce by 25,000 employees during 1975, applying, in the words of a contemporary industry commentator, methods and systems he had learned at Ford. The loss making assembly plant in Australia was closed, but after a period of rationalisation he placed the plants in Mexico and Brazil on a sounder footing for growth than that on which he had found them.
Schmücker's cost-cutting instincts were also evident in the decision to sell back to Porsche the commission for a successor to the commercially disappointing VW-Porsche 914. The new car, based on the underpinnings of the Audi 100 C2, turned up a couple of years later badged as the Porsche 924, but sold in much lower volumes (and at a near Porsche-level higher price) than had been envisaged when Volkswagen had commissioned the project.
In September 1976, Schmücker made history by securing a deal to build the Volkswagen Westmoreland Assembly Plant near New Stanton, Pennsylvania, making VW the first non-American car company to build its products in the United States since the 1930s. It was an effort to make the Rabbit less expensive to sell in North America at a time when the German Mark was gaining in value both against the U.S. dollar and against the currencies of other competitor economies such as Italy, Japan and France. The Pennsylvania factory opened on 10 April 1978.
The Schmücker era saw a conscious retreat from the old commitment to crank up volumes at almost any price: Volkswagen by 1980 was only the world's fifth largest auto-maker in terms of unit sales, overtaken during the 1970s by Toyota and Nissan since volumes had peaked in 1971.Under Schmücker, the Beetle was no longer the unstoppable force in European and US marketplaces it had been at the start of the decade, and in price sensitive markets the German built Golf was hampered by government determination to retain a strong currency. VW lost sales volume to the Japanese automakers, generally around the world but particularly in North America. Nevertheless, in 1975 Volkswagen was again profitable and in 1976 it posted a profit of One Billion Marks, earning Schmücker the epithet in Wolfsburg "Toni, der Trickser".
After suffering a heart attack in 1981, Schmücker was forced to resign the following year, and was succeeded by Dr. Carl Hahn.
Dr.-Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, usually shortened to Porsche AG, is a German automobile manufacturer specializing in high-performance sports cars, SUVs and sedans. The headquarters of Porsche AG is in Stuttgart, and is owned by Volkswagen AG, a controlling stake of which is owned by Porsche Automobil Holding SE. Porsche's current lineup includes the 718 Boxster/Cayman, 911, Panamera, Macan, Cayenne and Taycan.
Volkswagen, shortened to VW, is a German automaker founded in 1937 by the German Labour Front, known for the iconic "Beetle" and headquartered in Wolfsburg. It is the flagship marque of the Volkswagen Group, the largest automaker by worldwide sales in 2016 and 2017. The group's biggest market is in China, which delivers 40% of its sales and profits.
Volkswagen AG, known internationally as the Volkswagen Group, is a German multinational automotive manufacturing company headquartered in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany and indirectly majority owned by Austrian Porsche and Piëch families. It designs, manufactures and distributes passenger and commercial vehicles, motorcycles, engines, and turbomachinery and offers related services including financing, leasing and fleet management. In 2016, it was the world's largest automaker by sales, overtaking Toyota and keeping this title in 2017, 2018 and 2019 selling 10.9 million vehicles. It has maintained the largest market share in Europe for over two decades. It ranked seventh in the 2018 Fortune Global 500 list of the world's largest companies. Volkswagen Group sells passenger cars under the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, Škoda and the flagship Volkswagen marques; motorcycles under the Ducati brand; and TRATON under the marques MAN, Scania, and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. It is divided into two primary divisions, the Automotive Division and the Financial Services Division, and as of 2008 had approximately 342 subsidiary companies. Volkswagen also has two major joint-ventures in China. The company has operations in approximately 150 countries and operates 100 production facilities across 27 countries.
The Volkswagen Beetle—officially the Volkswagen Type 1, informally in German the Käfer, in parts of the English-speaking world the Bug, and known by many other nicknames in other languages—is a two-door, rear-engine economy car, intended for five occupants, that was manufactured and marketed by German automaker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003.
The Volkswagen Golf is a compact car produced by the German automotive manufacturer Volkswagen since 1974, marketed worldwide across eight generations, in various body configurations and under various nameplates – such as the Volkswagen Rabbit in the United States and Canada, and as the Volkswagen Caribe in Mexico (Mk1).
Ferdinand Karl Piëch was an Austrian business magnate, engineer and executive who was the chairman of the executive board (Vorstandsvorsitzender) of Volkswagen Group in 1993–2002 and the chairman of the supervisory board (Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender) of Volkswagen Group in 2002–2015.
Volkswagen do Brasil Ltda. is a subsidiary arm of Volkswagen Group, established in 1953 with local assembly of the Volkswagen Type 1 from parts imported from Germany. It produced over 20 million vehicles in Brazil, having been market leader for the majority of their more than sixty years in existence. Beginning in 1958, the Type 1 ("Fuscas") had a 24-year run as the number one in sales in Brazil. From 1987 until 2012, the Gol has been in first place in sales for 26 years straight.
Carl Horst Hahn is a German businessman and former head of the Volkswagen Group from 1982 to 1993. He served as the chairman of the board of management of the parent company, Volkswagen AG. During his tenure, the group's car production increased from two million units in 1982 to 3.5 million a decade later.
James R. Fuller was an American automobile executive who worked for various foreign and domestic car companies before joining Volkswagen.
Dr. Kurt Lotz was the second post-war Chief executive officer (CEO) of the Volkswagen automobile company in Germany. He was nominated in April 1967 to succeed Heinrich Nordhoff at the end of December 1968. Nordhoff died in April 1968.
The Volkswagen Tiguan is a compact crossover vehicle (CUV) manufactured by German automaker Volkswagen. Introduced in 2007, the first generation model uses the PQ46 platform of the B6 Generation Volkswagen Passat. All first generation (5N) Tiguans featured two row seating and transverse mounted four-cylinder engines.
Dr. Ing. h.c. Rudolf Leiding was the third post-war chairman of the Volkswagen automobile company, succeeding Kurt Lotz in 1971.
The Volkswagen Golf Mk1 is the first generation of a small family car manufactured and marketed by Volkswagen. It was noteworthy for signalling Volkswagen's shift of its major car lines from rear-wheel drive and rear-mounted air-cooled engines to front-wheel drive with front-mounted, water-cooled engines that were often transversely-mounted.
The Volkswagen Golf Mk6 is a compact car, the sixth generation of the Volkswagen Golf and the successor to the Volkswagen Golf Mk5. It was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October 2008. Volkswagen released pictures and information on 6 August 2008, prior to the official unveiling. The vehicle was released to the European market in the winter of 2008. Major investments have been made in production efficiency, with a claimed productivity improvement at launch of nearly 20% in comparison with the previous model, and further gains planned for the next twelve months.
The automotive industry in Germany is one of the largest employers in the world, with a labor force of over 857,336 (2016) working in the industry.
Volkswagen Westmoreland Assembly was a manufacturing complex located 35 miles (56 km) south of Pittsburgh in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, near New Stanton — and noted for manufacturing 1.15 million Volkswagens from 1978 until 1987. When VWoA began manufacturing in the unfinished Chrysler plant, it became the first foreign automobile company to build cars in the US since Rolls-Royce manufactured cars in Springfield, Massachusetts, from 1921 to 1931.
The Volkswagen Golf Mk7 is a compact car, the seventh generation of the Volkswagen Golf and the successor to the Volkswagen Golf Mk6. It was introduced in Berlin on 4 September 2012, before a public launch at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Cars reached Volkswagen dealers in the Golf's European domestic market on the 10th of November, 2012.
Audi Brussels is an Audi manufacturing plant located in Vorst/Forest, Belgium, a municipality located in the south-western part of Brussels.
The Volkswagen Bratislava Plant is an automotive factory and co-located test track in Bratislava, Slovakia owned by Volkswagen Group.
Wilhelm Karmann Jr. was a German entrepreneur. He took over the management of Wilhelm Karmann GmbH based in Osnabrück in 1952 and led the company to become a recognized partner of the automotive industry as a contract manufacturer of complete vehicles and as a supplier of pressed parts, production systems and roof modules for convertibles. He was also involved in numerous vehicle developments.