Interview with Ferdinand Piëch


Veteran Member
Nov 13, 2000
Ludwigshafen, Germany
This is from the actual Autozeitung (German Car Mag):

There has been lots of talking about VW these days, due to the different pricing in the European countries. For a Golf for example, you want 33% less in Finland than in Germany. How do you explain that?

Piech: What equipment level? The real price booster are indeed the countries themselves. Autoprices are burdened by highly different taxes (in Denmark, for example, even a luxury tax) and now we are gibbeted by the Bruxelles administration, because we try to level that a little bit. The difference in taxation is so huge, that you buy the cheapest "expensive Swiss watch" not in Switzerland, but in France. That´s the problem...

Via Internet customers can get all pricing and equipment informations they want. Hasn´t the international trade with cars to be completely reformed?

I don´t think that free dealers can undergo a recall. I also don´t think, that they will buy special tooling. Japanese restaurants, for example, employ "authorized globefish cooks"

Globefish are dangerous - you have to pay before you get the meal, because the gallbladder can be hurt while carving it, which can cause death. Can the mistreatment of a car cause death?

Piech: I won´t hope that. But manufacturers and dealers have a special knowledge of their products, they arer specialists like the above mentioned globefish cooks. It´s also about questions like liability. And this exclusively within the familiy.

When you´re talking about familiy, do you think about all group brands, in the future also about Bentley and Bugatti?:

We´ll show 67 new models within the next five years, that means htirteen a year. In this big familiy are eleven sizes of cars, whom can be helped worldwide with the family know-how. Some time ago, a Bentley, for example, couldn`t keep up with the latest developments in technology and service - through identical parts in the non-visible area, it can be served worldwide today, just like the other five million annual cars of the group, too.

Doesn´t the policy of identical parts mean boredom?

Piech: Brand specific are all parts, that can be seen. The non-visible parts are there, where it´s possible , but they are constructed as modules.

Do wealthy customers agree, when they have to pay lots of money for Polo parts?

Au contraire: Some time ago, the top-cars would have been left off the trend. Who orders a nokia phones for Bentley production cars, is a nobody for these cars offer up-to-date GPS and phone technology and beside that a much better service network...

with the know of globefish cooks. The term platform is dead now?

Module-strategy is the new direction. We have to detct the parts fitting together in a Matrix-System. The power steering of a Passat for example, is double the price of that in a Golf. The backdraw is: Enginneers like to newly invent existing things.

Now we have the point. When is leading in 12 cylinder technology, why doesn´t VW just use this engine, too

The Audi twelve cylinder uses dry sump lubrication and yields some other goals - above all being number one in lightweight construction. Our 12 cylinder use a conventional oil supply.

But also the new W8 cylinder egine doesn´t come from the group-Audi-kit. Why?

When going upscale, we wanted to have have room for visions and exclusive goals. We humans consider it important, that an engine, for example, can do something special. Therefor we tried to built a top engine. We found a benchmark in much aspects in the engine of a southern European concurrent. So we bought and analysed the engine, just like we do it with our engines.

And the result?

The sound of this engine is just great. This has something to do with the firing sequence. But it shakes when idling, therefor it has a Lancaster balancer. Crankshaft and firing tioming are harmonized perfectly.

You are entering the final period of your term of office - will Dr. Pischetsrieder be your successor?

I like to have a technician. Nothing more, because it´s not me who´ll decide this, but the borad of directors.

Will your visions end then?

8, 12, 16 cylinders, these are my visions, you´ll see that realized from the IAA (in Sptember)on to the year 2003. The Passat W8 is the fastest VW ever - but before the Geneva Salon 2002 there will be two faster ones. But we´ll also realize the Bugatti project.

16 cylinders with 800bhp in the "base" model and 1001 bhp in the turbocharged version, like announced?

...always more than our competitors. If there´s a competitor closing the gap, we´ll go another step orward.

How does someone master 1000 bhp - isn´t it dangerous?

No. You´ll see Bugattis becoming collective items, you´ll hardly see them on the street. On the other side, Formula 1 drivers will be part of customers. We won´t insult these customers through offering a driver´s training, but we won´t leave them alone.

What kind of speeds do you expect?

Better than in Formula One. A Bugatti will be superior, also in acceleration. And when it comes to top speed, I´m thinking about 406 km/h (252mph). And we´ll give out a certificate to prove it.

Why exactly 406km/h?

That´s the fastest speed ever measured in LeMans. And a car, that can do such, will also be a nice collectible on a persian carpet- we expect the Bugatti more to be caressed than to be driven.

Are there plans for Formula 1 - and why are there two competing group companies in LeMans?

The money others are investing in Formula 1, is going to our engine development. And in LeMANS Audi and Bentley will take part. Audi has to win, Bentley to finish.

Interview taken by G. Wiechman and P. Pisecker.

[This message has been edited by Eolair (edited March 15, 2001).]


lol, a Formula 1 ride in everyones driveway pumping out 1,001 BHP?

I seriously doubt that, very few people could handle any vehicle at 252 mph without cashing out

Nice to get a peek at what the upper eschelon is thinking though....

[This message has been edited by SkyPup (edited March 16, 2001).]

cars wanted

Veteran Member
Jul 30, 1999
Rockville, Maryland U.S.A.
Golf GLS-TDI, 2000, white/beige
Uh, I'm pretty sure that this Bugatti will be priced in such a way that there will be very few, if any, driveways that this thing will be sitting on. Most of them will probably reside in temperature-controlled garages.