The One Family That Could Fix VW and Why They Won’t

Despite bearing one of most storied names in automotive history, the family, which controls 52 percent of VW’s voting shares via a company called Porsche Automobil Holding SE, wasn’t prepared for a challenge like the diesel crisis. Bound by a tradition of consensus and discretion honed during their privileged upbringing along the German-Austrian border, family members have remained virtually mum. That has left a power vacuum even as VW faces costs that could top $30 billion and become a hit to its reputation that risks eroding sales and profits for years.

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