Wolfgang Bernhard looked a little strange as he slowly drove the Eos convertible through a fake field of sunflowers at Frankfurt. Famous for roaring out onto the stage on the Tomahawk concept bike in a leather jacket and ruthlessly slashing his way into cost-savings, the youthful but hard-line boss of the Volkswagen brand didn't add to the aura of peace and tranquility the scene was going for. He was a fish out of water.
He jumped right back into the pond, though, as he shared with reporters his progress on shaving the excess calories out of VW's diet. The Car Connection reported on his very strict handling of the development of a planned compact SUV: after locking up 300 engineers and product planners for a week, during which he ordered the group to do nothing but work on the vehicle and handed out nightly report cards, he was able to save 2,000 Euros. Now, he's fighting with the labor union in Wolfsburg — if they don't make concessions that result in savings of another $1,000+, he'll move the manufacturing operations to Portugal.