Originally Posted by jayadev
that is quite interesting , can you elaborate the vw law?
how does it operate?
Am I sensing a Nazi backlash?
Volkswagen law is specific to Volkswagen and is aimed to protect VW from take overs.
Under the "Volkswagen law", any share holder in VW could not excercise more than 20% of the voting rights even if there share holding is much bigger.
In 2007, European court of Justice ruled that this German law protecting Volkswagen from take overs is illegal.
Following the Order, Germany scrapped the law. But in 2008, re wrote it in a different way (don't know the legal terms) and introduced revised Volkswagen law. Now removed limits on voting rights but with a new requirement that any important decisions about the company must be passed by more than 80% majority.
The catch is a German state, Lower Saxony is holding 20.1% stake in VW and its impossible for any other share holder to get more than 80% stake.
The fight is still own with German Government and European Union. German Govt has made it very clear that they are going to aggressively defend VW law in European court of Justice.
This law was introduced when Volkswagen was privitised in 1960.
Further to satisfy your curiosity, a brief flash back:
Volkswagen was founded in 1937 by the Nazi trade union as Ordered by Adolf Hitler.
At that time, Germany had only luxury cars and common people were not able to buy a car. So Hitler ordered a project - kdf wagen. Volkswagen was one of the cars under this project.
The first Volkswagen (people's car) was designed by Ferdinand Porsche, founder of Porsche.
Hitler approved Porsche's design and first people's car was born.
During second world war, there were an estimated 15000 slaves working in VW. Company admitted this in 1998 - Not sure whether this was voluntary on the part of VW or after some survivors in filed a case in 1998 for forced labour and demanded restitution.
In 1945, US forces bombed and captured statd des KdF-Wagens (VW township) and handed over to the British.
None of the major auto companies of the world at that time (and they were in America, Britain and France) were interested to take over VW. So in 1948 VW was kept under West German control.