Volkswagen: Spinning Its Wheels?

Price pressures and other woes threaten its recovery

No doubt about it: Volkswagen CEO Ferdinand Piech engineered one of Europe's greatest turnarounds. The grandson of auto pioneer Ferdinand Porsche inherited a loss of more than $1 billion and eroding market share in 1993. A battery of new models helped Piech seize European market share from Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. With its Audi, Skoda, and Seat brands, VW now has nearly 19% of Western European car sales, up from 15% in 1994. Profits last year topped $1.2 billion on $71.4 billion in sales.

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