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The sudden death of Ferdinand Piech, who built Volkswagen Group into a global powerhouse, puts the spotlight on one of Europe's wealthiest families and the challenges it faces to navigate the tectonic shifts roiling the auto industry.

VW was always hard to handle: Its home state of Lower Saxony in Germany owns 20 percent of the Wolfsburg-based automaker and worker representatives can veto factory closures. But the situation got even more complex a decade ago, when the reclusive Porsche-Piech clan -- descendants of the VW Beetle's creator, Ferdinand Porsche -- gained control of a majority of the company's voting shares.



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Piech's Death Spotlights The Elite's Control Of The Volkswagen Empire

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