As Automotive News reports, Winterkorn had been widely viewed as the probable replacement for the 77-year-old Piech, until last week, when the current chairman said he was keeping the CEO "at a distance," in the German paper. While Winterkorn confirmed to German media on Monday that he still had a job, analysts aren't sure what Piech's comments will mean for the 67-year-old CEO's future, with some indicating he may end up being a "lame duck" leader.
According to AN, Piech doesn't think that Winterkorn has the vision to lead the sprawling Volkswagen Group empire, even though the current CEO has the support of a number of other VAG stakeholders.
"Piech knows what he is doing and will assume that he can get the supervisory board to implement his decisions," former BMW executive turned analyst Helmut Becker told German media, AN reports.
Winterkorn has just over 18 months left on his contract, while Piech's term has another two years left on it, meaning it will still be some time before we find out how the Volkswagen Group's leadership issues play out.