Former Volkswagen chief Ferdinand Piech died Sunday, according to German newspaper Bild.
Piech died Sunday night in Bavaria after visiting a restaurant, the newspaper reported. It’s unclear how he died, although Bild reported that Piech was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at around 9:45 p.m.
Piech led VW from 1993-2002 as CEO and was chairman of the VW board from 2002-2015 through many of the automaker’s most recent transformative years. Piech was the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche and started his career as an engineer at Porsche. Piech moved over to Audi and eventually became CEO of that automaker.
During Piech’s tenure at Audi and VW, he oversaw the development of the Audi Quattro and ran the automaker until 1993, when he took control of the VW Group. As CEO of VW, Piech engineered the purchase of Lamborghini and Bentley and turned the automaker into a global powerhouse. During his tenure, Piech oversaw the maneuver that eventually brought Porsche into the VW fold in 2012, after a failed bid by Porsche to acquire VW.
Volkswagen in America didn’t immediately comment on Piech’s death.
We’ll update this story as more information becomes available.