Family rivalries have surfaced in the Porsche and VW ranks with the revelation that Wolfgang Porsche, chairman of the holding company that owns the stakes in the carmakers, plans to oust his cousin Ferdinand Piëch (pictured) as chairman of VW.
The news came after rare public fighting between the Porsche and Piëch clans, who own sports car maker Porsche Automobil Holding AG and control a 31% stake Volkswagen, soon to be a majority.
Last week Piëch failed to attend a board meeting discussing a motion that would restrict Porsche's ability to co-operate with Audi, VW's premium car unit. His non-attendance led to the family being outvoted by the unions. While the motion was not strategically important to Porsche, by breaking ranks with his relatives Piëch has caused a rift between himself and the other family members.
"The family is deeply disgruntled. Mr Piëch made them look like a fool and he is isolated now," one family member told the Financial Times.
Wolfgang Porsche has said publicly that he was "appalled by the voting behaviour of the supervisory board chairman".
While Porsche's power to oust his cousin out is limited – Piëch has the backing of the VW's labour representatives that sit on the board – a showdown between the two is expected in the next few weeks when the family members meet.