Vw: Spinning Its Wheels?

Price pressures and other woes threaten a racy turnaround

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

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