Carl "Mr. Volkswagen" Hahn, who built the people's car company into an international powerhouse as chairman from 1982 to 1993, will speak to the Haas community at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 11 in the Wells Fargo Room.
The talk, part of the Dean's Speaker Series, is free and open to the Haas community.
A native of East Germany, Hahn fled to West Germany to escape communism after World War II. After joining VW in 1953, he was named president of the U.S. subsidiary, Volkswagen of America, in 1958. He helped turn the homely Beetle and Microbus into cultural icons, spearheading a series of distinctive ads and earning the Mr. Volkswagen nickname, before returning to Germany in 1965.
Hahn left VW in 1973 to head the tire company Continental AG but returned as chairman of Volkswagen AG. Through acquisitions of the Spanish brand SEAT and the Czech company Skoda Auto, Hahn built VW into Europe's largest automaker. During his tenure, the Golf became the most popular car in Europe—even as Hahn continued to diversify the brand and expand internationally, bringing VW to China.
After German reunification, Hahn led a major expansion in East Germany, building a $1.9 billion assembly plant near his hometown and rebuilding the East's battered auto industry.
Registration information for this event and other Dean's Speakers Series events is available at haas.berkeley.edu/haas/about/deansspeakers.html.