Rudolf Leiding

Rudolf Leiding

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Rudolf Leiding

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Dr. Ing. h.c. Rudolf Leiding (4 September 1914 – 3 September 2003) was the third post-war chairman of the Volkswagen automobile company (Volkswagenwerk AG), succeeding Kurt Lotz in 1971.

Leiding began his career with Volkswagen at Wolfsburg in 1945 where he was responsible for the repair of army vehicles. Professor Nordhoff then charged him with setting up the first postwar Wolsburg assembly line, using such parts as he could find. Leiding's ingenuity at this task led to promotion, and Leiding found himself sent to the USA to oprganize the first VW service network there. Between 1958 and 1965 he was the first director of the VW works in Kassel. Subsequently he transferred to Auto Union GmbH in Ingolstadt where he became chairman of the board, presiding during the company's development of the successful Audi 100.

Leiding arrived at the top Volkswagen job with a reputation as a successful trouble-shooter. When Volkswagen under Nordoff acquired Auto Union/Audi, Leiding was sent to "sort out" morale and discipline, as general manager at the Ingolstadt plant. Finding a compound filled with 28,000 unsold, unused and increasingly obsolete ...
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