It is such a thing with the memory of the former greats of the VW group. Ferdinand Piëch is still remembered today as the company’s patriarch par excellence. When he died two years ago, it was like the end of an era. Well, there was Martin Winterkorn, VW boss from 2007 to 2015, but he had to resign as part of the diesel affair. In the end, it was only suited to a limited extent for occupying a later patriarchal role. The grand trial of the exhaust gas fraud was now due to begin without him, the 74-year-old has hip problems. It is possible that Winterkorn will be remembered as the VW boss who was on sick leave at the crucial time.
More recently, former VW bosses Bernd Pischetsrieder and Matthias Müller should be mentioned, but they may not be remembered at some point.
And then there is someone who was there before Piëch and who is still there. Carl Hahn, VW boss from 1982 to 1993, is now 95 years old. In Wolfsburg he is remembered as the one under which VW became an international group. Of course, studies in France, Italy, Great Britain and Switzerland, first trips to Europe with his motorbike, a DKW RT 125 – something like that shapes. Since 2009 he has been the namesake of the “Saxony International School Carl Hahn” in Glauchau, Saxony, a school which has a cosmopolitan outlook and foreign language skills in its curriculum. Which brings you back to the former VW boss, who may still be contributing more to a current discussion than other former top executives.
Topic: Why Every Child Should Grow Up Bilingual in Kindergarten
On Monday, Hahn will be sitting on a podium with education experts, and it’s not about electric cars, the Chinese market, and certainly not diesel engines. But one way or another, that’s it. Because today’s topic is: Why every child should grow up bilingual in daycare.
“The topic of early childhood education is close to my heart because from my point of view it is an important topic for the future of Germany,” says Hahn. He slowly and calmly reads his opening text for the next podium, wearing a dark jacket, blue shirt and tie. Old school.
“I’m sure you won’t regret the time you invested,” he says. His concern: children could learn foreign languages most easily between the ages of three and six, in a fun way, almost automatically and at “unimaginable speed”. This is what nature wanted. So why wait until they are a few years older? Lots of things are possible, including native teachers who don’t have to speak German. “With relatively little investment, we can enable our current and future citizens to live happier, longer, healthier and smarter lives,” Hahn said. And of course, it’s not just about language skills for him.
Because there it is again, the manager, strategist and former internationalizer of the automotive group: “As a long-time boss of Volkswagen, it is clear to me that we can only succeed in the world with the best employees, because the competition never sleeps and grows every day. “With more foreign languages for more economic dynamism and a higher gross domestic product. And:” Responsible citizens who also understand complex subjects and are not only influenced by fake news. “Then the preface is over, now it’s the experts’ turn. After a little less than an hour, the moderator thanks them and Hahn drums his hand on the table. Applause.