In—And Out—Of The Driver's Seat

AP PHOTO-FOCKE STRANGMANN

MOVING ON: VW CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder

The hottest seats in European business these days are in the auto industry. Last week, Volkswagen, Peugeot and Fiat all announced that they're trading in their chief executives. That leaves just highly profitable Porsche as the only significant European auto firm not to have switched bosses in the past 18 months. The turnover reflects upheaval in the industry worldwide as firms not only jostle to take advantage of new markets in Asia and elsewhere, but also struggle with unrelenting cost pressures at home.

The big surprise came at VW. Bernd Pischetsrieder had just signed a new...

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