Ulrich hackenberg was long considered the man for all cases in the volkswagen empire. Just a few months ago, the mechanical engineer with a doctorate in engineering was even given a chance to succeed his confidant martin winterkorn, who has since fallen over the emissions scandal.
Now the company also wants to part with hackenberg. According to information from the dpa the head of development at audi, the company’s luxury-class subsidiary, is one of the second-tier managers to lose his job in the scandal over emissions measurements that were not taken into account.
At the age of 65, hackenberg was no longer one of the young hopefuls in europe’s largest car company. On the other hand, he was considered an experienced problem solver – and played a decisive role in setting the course for technology and production for a long time.
From 2007, hackenberg was head of development for the core VW passenger car brand. He was responsible for the further development and new development of numerous models and was also in charge of the "modular transverse matrix" (MQB) – a central platform for uniform parts and processes in car production, with which volkswagen wants to save billions. The engineer had previously launched a similar modular system at audi. He also worked at luxury subsidiary bentley.
In 2013, the then still functioning tandem of winterkorn and former supervisory board chairman ferdinand piech, who has since also stepped down, sent the long-serving audi man back to ingolstadt. Hackenberg got rid of the hapless, short-term head of development wolfgang durheimer, who was forced to resign after only a few months. Hackenberg also managed the global technical development of VW group brands from his job at audi.
Among his engineers, the mechanical and vehicle engineer was as popular as he was furrowed. Down-to-earth and technology-loving, rather reserved on public dates, but also – when necessary – tough on the inside: this is how it has often been described. According to company sources, he won’t back down despite the manipulation crisis: hackenberg is to take legal action against his suspension.