Working Dinner with Carl Hahn, Chairman Emeritus of Volkswagen Group

Aspen Institute Romania had the pleasure to host a working dinner on the theme "Manufacturing in the Global Economy - Industrial Policy Challenges for Romania and Europe" having as guest speaker Prof. Dr. Carl H. Hahn, Chairman Emeritus of Volkswagen AG.

The renowned former chairman of the Volkswagen Group is widely credited with driving Volkswagen to the heights of global success and leadership in Europe. Under his chairmanship the Group expanded from producing 2 million cars in 1982 to its 3.5 million capacity in 1992, also acquiring SEAT in Spain, SKODA in the Czech Republic and establishing VW´s leadership position in the Peoples Republic of China. Prof. Hahn is considered a business guru and astute corporate manager and is responsible for making the 'Golf' one of the most successful cars ever built. His celebrated career with Volkswagen Group led him to several senior positions including CEO of Volkswagen of America Inc. He now serves on numerous boards in Europe and the USA, including Perot Systems Corp (US), Benetton (Italy), Gerling-Konzern, Thyssen (Germany). Prof. Hahn was selected as one of Corporate America's Outstanding Directors 1999 (Director's Alert, USA).

The working dinner discussions aimed for an overview of the industrial sector in Europe and the future of manufacturing and technology in a global economy. The discussions focused on the topic of industrial policies from a company perspective and will address issues such as: what guides the investment decision of a company in the context of the current economic crisis? How do you develop and maintain the manufacturing sector's competitiveness in Europe during a credit and trust crisis? Which are the islands of performance? What role could Central and Eastern Europe states play given that they are not yet part of the Euro zone? Is the German industrial model truly transferable and to what extent? What is at the core of the success of SEAT and Skoda acquisitions and how did this influence German business thinking and strategy?

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