AUTOS: Volkswagen's Herr Fix-It

When Toni Schmücker became chief executive of Volkswagen werk A.G. in February 1975, a reporter asked him what he thought of his new office. "Great!" replied Schmücker. "Great rugs, great pictures, a great many workers and great losses." It was an accurate description at the time, but since then Volkswagen has turned around sharply enough to enhance Schmücker's growing reputation as the Herr Fix-It of German industry. Two weeks ago, Schmücker, 56, reported that in 1976 the company had cleared a profit of $425 million, which, with tax credits, is more than enough to wipe out its losses of...

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