MAY 3, 2006
Pischetsrieder gets another five years
Volkswagen chief executive officer Bernd Pischetsrieder has won a five-year extension to his contract. This means that he will remain in charge of Europe's biggest car company until April 2012. The 58-year-old German, who made his name at BMW, has long been a fan of motorsport to promote products, particularly Formula 1. In a perfect world, Pischetsrieder would probably take the Wolfsburg company into Grand Prix racing, perhaps using one of its more exotic brands such as Audi, but at the moment VW is in the process of cutting costs and jobs in an effort to improve its financial results. This will mean job losses of around 20,000 people. This makes an investment in Grand Prix racing rather hard to justify but once the company is made leaner and more competitive it is likely that Pischetsrieder will look again at the sport, particularly if the FIA is able to push ahead with its desire to close down areas in which money can be spent to make cars more competitive. Money is always going to make a difference, if it is spent wisely, but the FIA hopes that it can reduce the rates in which money can be spent and big advantage gained. This philosophy is putting the federation into conflict with some of the car manufacturers, notably those that look to F1 for technological advancement.
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