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Carl H. Hahn is the former President of Volkswagen, Germany. The automobile manufacturer is known for popular models such as the Beetle, as well as today’s Jetta and Taureg.
Born into an industrialist family, Mr. Hahn was already connected to the beginnings of automotive engineering in Germany. He studied business administration in Germany, Switzerland, and Great Britain, as well as political science in France. In 1952 he completed his doctorate in Bern. Dr. Hahn began his professional career in 1953 as Administrator at the European Productivity Agency of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) in Paris. He joined Volkswagen in December of 1954.
From 1959 to 1964, Mr. Hahn was head of Volkswagen of America. In 1964 he was elected to the board of Volkswagen AG, where he was responsible for the sales department from 1965 onward. From 1973 to 1981, he reorganized the tire manufacturer Conti in Hannover as Chairman, returning to VW in Wolfsburg as chairman of the board.
Mr. Hahn transformed Volkswagen into a global corporation by opening new production plants in China and Eastern and Southern Europe. In 1993 he became a member of the board of directors, which he left in 1997.
He is an honorary professor for Industrial Entrepreneur Strategies at the University of Zwickau. In addition he works in several political, cultural, and social organizations. Mr. Hahn was awarded honorable degrees by nine universities at home and abroad. Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Kyrgyzstan and Germany decorated him with orders. He is an honorary citizen of Wolfsburg, Chemnitz, Zwickau, and Changchun, China. In 1999 he was named one of ten “Corporate America’s Outstanding Directors.” In 2006 he was included in the European Automotive Hall of Fame.