In 11 years as chairman, Carl Hahn, 79, changed Volkswagen group from a German manufacturer focused on a single product into the diversified multi-brand international giant it is today.
A global business visionary in a pre-global era, Hahn brought VW to China, presided over the automaker's acquisition of Spain's Seat and the Czech manufacturer Skoda, and formed joint ventures across the globe.
In January 1982, Hahn replaced Toni Schmücker as head of Volkswagen. He led the company until January 1993, when he handed over the reins to Ferdinand Piëch, who now heads Volkswagen group's supervisory board.
Hahn took over VW at an awkward time. The company had become a "Golf empire" with a fierce concentration on its primary car model, much like it had been a "Beetle empire" under its first post-war head, Heinrich Nordhoff.
While that focus allowed VW to capitalize on the sales success of the Golf and turn it into the dominant model in Europe, it limited its future options.