He joined VW in 1954 and became its director in 1982. During his ten-year tenure, VW built factories in China, bought Spain’s Seat and Czech Republic’s Skoda, and expanded operations into the former communist East Germany.
“Until then, we were too focused on Germany. We were a state-owned company. car week.
“We started with Seat and were able to get Volkswagen out of the crisis, which was just losing money at the German factory,” he said.
Hahn also initiated Audi’s transition into the luxury car segment.
In the 1960s, Hahn led VW’s US operations and helped establish the Beetle as an American pop culture icon. A strategic disagreement led him to join his tire manufacturer Continental in 1972, only to return a decade later.
After Ferdinand Piëch took over as CEO of Volkswagen in 1992, Hahn served on the company’s Supervisory Board for another five years.
Hahn chronicled his career in his 2005 autobiography My Years With Volkswagen.