Fact for August 17, 2008

By law (at least until the EU issues a final ruling on the matter), no shareholder in Volkswagen AG can hold more than 20% of the voting rights, regardless of their actual share percentage. This is known as the ‘Volkswagen Law‘ and was ostensibly developed to allow the German state of Lower Saxony, which holds a 20.3% stake in the company, to maintain a controlling interest. The largest actual shareholder is sister company Porsche (Porsche’s famed 911 is a direct design descendant, via the Porsche 356, of the VW Beetle; the latter was designed by Prof. Dr. Ing h.c. Ferdinand Porsche).

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